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  • Flu Facts

  • Influenza or "flu" is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by the influenza virus. The best way to prevent this illness is by getting a flu vaccination each fall.

    • A pandemic is a global outbreak of a serious illness that spreads easily from person to person. There is not a flu pandemic at this time.
    • On average each year, 5-20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu, 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications and about 36,000 people die.
    • The flu season in the northern hemisphere is December - March and in the southern hemisphere is April - September.
    • There is no such thing as the "stomach flu." Being nauseous or feeling sick to your stomach can be symptoms of the flu, but these are rarely the primary symptoms. The flu is a respiratory disease and not an intestinal disease.
    • Anyone over 65 or 6-23 months of age is at highest risk for catching the flu.
    • The flu is categorized into three types, A, B and C.
    • Antibiotics cannot be used to cure the flu because the flu is not a bacterium, but a virus.
    • Various strains of a flu virus can infect pigs, horses and birds. If the animal contracts more than one strain, the viruses can share genetic information and mutate into new strains that few people may have immunity against.

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