Seasonal influenza (flu) is an infection of the respiratory system (lungs) caused by influenza viruses. Flu occurs most often every year during the late fall through the winter months. Influenza can cause complications such as pneumonia, and can lead to hospitalization or death for some people.
Those at risk include:
- Adults 50 years of age and over
- Women who will be pregnant during flu season
- Children 6 months up to 5 years of age
- Children and youth 5 years to 18 years if receiving long-term asprin therapy
- People with chronic health conditions [diabetes, kidney, heart or lung disease, asthma, cancer, seizures, weakened immune system]
- Healthy household contacts and caregivers of people with chronic health conditions
- Healthy household contacts and caregivers of children less than 5 years and adults 50 years and over
- Health care workers
Influenza can be prevented by getting a flu shot every year.
Vaccine will be available for high risk persons at public health clinics late October through December. Vaccine is also available from local doctors, clinics and selected pharmacies. Persons who do not have a risk of flu complications should contact their doctor/clinic or pharmacy about receiving flu vaccine.