WASHINGTON, D.C. – Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. Approximately 5 -20 percent of United States residents get the flu each year.
Flu season typically starts in the fall and peaks in January or February.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine. Seasonal flu vaccines have a very good safety track record. The flu vaccine is available by shot or nasal spray.
It is especially important to get the vaccine if you, someone you live with, or someone you care for is at high risk of complications from the flu. Getting the flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu. Get your flu shot or spray as soon as the vaccine is available in your area.
Mild reactions such as soreness, headaches, and fever are common side effects of the flu vaccine.
If you experience a severe reaction such as difficulty breathing, hives, or facial swelling, seek medical attention immediately.
Where can I get the vaccine?
Use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a flu vaccine location near you this flu season. The 2013-2014 vaccine is now available. Get your flu shot or spray as soon as the vaccine is available in your area.
If you live near a tribal health clinic or an Indian Health Service (IHS) facility, you should visit one today to get vaccinated if you have not do so already this flu season.
Flu-related complications include pneumonia and dehydration.
Illness from seasonal flu usually lasts one to two weeks.