Seasonal Flu (Influenza)
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. Causing mild to severe illness, about 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized with complications due to influenza and 36,000 die from seasonal influenza. The best way to prevent the flu is to get an influenza vaccine each year.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over six months of age get the flu vaccine. The 2011/2012 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus.