The flu is NOT just a bad cold.
The flu is a contagious illness that affects the nose, throat, lungs and other parts of the body. It spreads quickly from one person to another. It can cause mild to severe illness, and if may lead to death. *
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu shot.
Every year in the U.S., on average:*
- 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu
- More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications
- The flu causes about 3,000 to 49,000 deaths each year. About 90% of these deaths occur in people 65 years or older
Everyone 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine every year
- The flu vaccine is not approved for children younger than 6 months old. But, infants in this age group have a higher risk of flu complications than children of any other age
- The best way to protect children younger than 6 months is to make sure members of their household and their caregivers are vaccinated
You can't get the flu from getting the flu vaccine
- The flu vaccine does not give you the flu. It stimulates your body to produce antibodies. These antibodies protect from flu viruses
- Once you get the flu vaccine, it takes about two weeks for it to be fully effective. Until then, you are still at risk for getting the flu
*Source: NYS Department of Health