Influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs. Influenza, commonly called the flu, is not the same as the stomach "flu" viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Influenza and its complications can be deadly. People at higher risk of developing flu complications include:
- Young children
- Adults older than 65
- Pregnant women
- People with weakened immune systems
- People who have chronic illnesses
Your best defense against influenza is to receive an annual vaccination.
Oct. 21, 2014
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Prevention and control of seasonal influenza with vaccines. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2013-2014. MMWR. 2013;62:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6207a1.htm?s_cid=rr6207a1_w. Accessed June 15, 2014.
- Zachary KC. Treatment of seasonal influenza in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 15, 2014.
- CDC recommendations for influenza antiviral medications remain unchanged. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/media/haveyouheard/stories/Influenza_antiviral2.html. Accessed June 19, 2014.
- Selecting viruses for the seasonal influenza vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/vaccine-selection.htm#composition. Accessed June 15, 2014.
- Preventing the flu: Good health habits can help stop germs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm. Accessed June 19, 2014.
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