What is influenza (also called flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine(https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm) each year.
What are the signs and symptoms of the flu?
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms that usually start suddenly, not gradually:
How does the flu spread?
The flu virus is spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
When can a person with the flu spread it to others?
You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Although people with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins, some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time.
Should I get the flu vaccine now?
How can I protect my child from catching the flu?
In addition to getting an annual influenza vaccine, following everyday preventive actions can help protect your child from the flu and from other contagious illnesses as well. Teach your child to:
What should I do if my child is sick?
For more information go to the New Jersey Department of Health flu website at . Follow on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, facebook at NJDeptofHealth, Instagram @njdeptofhealth and Snapchat @njdoh.