Frequently Asked Questions About the Flu
When is flu season?
Flu Season in the United States has begun and peaks any time from late November through March.
Where can I go to get the seasonal flu vaccine?
Contact your medical provider for information about getting the flu vaccine. Flu vaccine is also available at some retail pharmacies and stores (call first to check vaccine availability).
I got the flu vaccine last year. Do I need to get it again this year?
Yes. Flu viruses change from year to year, and the vaccine is updated each year to provide protection against current viruses. Also, the vaccine only keeps you fully protected for about one year.
What are the symptoms of seasonal flu?
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children
How can I protect myself?
The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. This also helps protect family members and others in the community.
You can also take everyday steps to avoid getting and spreading the flu virus:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough, and throw the tissue away.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol hand cleaner, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
Who should get a flu shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get a yearly flu shot. Some people are at a higher risk for serious flu complications. This group includes young children, people ages 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Families and caregivers of these people should also get an annual flu shot to reduce their risk of getting the flu.
Is the flu shot safe, and can it give me the flu?
The flu vaccine is safe and effective. You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine.
How is seasonal flu treated?
People sick with the flu should make sure they drink fluids, get plenty of rest, eat healthy foods, wash their hands frequently and stay home to avoid giving the flu to other people. Over the counter pain medicines may also help people with the flu feel more comfortable. For more information, contact your medical provider.