How Flu Spreads
Flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. You may be able to spread flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
People At Higher Risk
Anyone can get flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years.
Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. The only way to know for sure whether you are sick with the flu or COVID-19 is to get tested.
Flu is different from a cold and usually comes on suddenly. Know the symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)
Who Should Get Vaccinated
With rare exceptions, everyone six months of age or older needs a flu vaccine.
Where To Get Vaccinated
The flu vaccine is offered (often at no additional cost) in many doctor's offices, pharmacies, as well as by many employers and schools. If you don't have a regular doctor, locate a community health center or visit any of our community flu clinics.
When To Get Vaccinated
September and October are the best times to get vaccinated. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, you can get the flu vaccine even in January or later.