On average, 1 out of 5 Americans suffer from influenza every year. In addition, influenza and its related complications result in approximately 226,000 hospitalizations in the US each year. Depending on virus severity during the influenza season, deaths can range from 3000 to a high of about 49,000 people.
We all are at risk for contracting influenza. The results for some will be lost work or school days. But for those at highest risk, the results can be more serious - leading to hospitalization and even death. The best way to prevent influenza is with an annual flu shot.
Together, pneumonia and influenza are the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. Influenza is serious, so getting vaccinated should be your number one priority!
Influenza symptoms include fever (usually high), headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur, but are more common in children than adults.
Complications of influenza can include viral or bacterial pneumonia and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, congestive heart failure, and diabetes. Children may experience sinus problems and ear infections.
Influenza viruses spread in respiratory droplets caused by coughing and sneezing. They usually spread from person to person, though sometimes people become infected by touching something contaminated with the influenza virus and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose.