Flu - Overview
Every year you know it's coming -- the runny nose, sneezing, coughing, fever, chills, body aches -- flu season. Millions of Americans are hit with the flu each year, resulting in lost time at work and school and in severe cases hospitalization and even death.
This year, in additional to the traditional seasonal flu, H1N1 flu is causing many people concern. It is more important than ever that everyone does their part in trying to prevent the spread of seasonal flu and H1N1 flu by taking precautionary measures, recognizing the signs of flu, and getting proper treatment.
Flu, or influenza, is a contagious disease that is caused by the influenza virus. It attacks the respiratory tract in humans (nose, throat, and lungs). It is transmitted from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks and sends flu virus into the air. The virus is then inhaled by other people, enters the nose, throat, or lungs and begins to multiply -- and flu season is in full swing.
Influenza may also be spread when a person touches a surface that has flu viruses on it, such as a door handle, and then touches his or her nose or mouth.
It's important to learn about the flu and what you can do to protect you and your family from being affected by illness this winter.