Public Health Fact Sheet

What is Influenza?
Influenza, commonly called the “flu”, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and affects people of all ages. Serious outcomes of flu can cause hospitalization or death. Older people, young children and people with certain underlying health conditions are at a higher risk of serious complications.

How is Influenza spread?
Influenza is spread from person to person by direct contact with respiratory droplets through coughing and sneezing. People with flu can spread it to others up to 6 feet away. Flu can also be spread indirectly by touching articles contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching your own eyes, nose or mouth.

How is Influenza treated?
Stay at home, rest, and drink lots of fluids. There are prescription medications called anti-viral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness.

How is Influenza prevented?
Everyone 6 months and older should get a yearly flu vaccine. Avoid close contact with sick people. Stay home when you are sick and limit your contact with others. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Clean and disinfect surfaces that may have been contaminated with flu virus germs.

Additional information is available on the CDC website at
Symptoms of Influenza

  • Sudden onset fever
    (100F or higher)
  • Headache

  • Dry cough
  • Muscle aches
  • Extreme fatigue
February 2020