What is influenza (also called the flu)?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Signs and symptoms of the flu

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms: Fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue (very tired). Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

How the flu spreads

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.

Flu vaccine information

Flu vaccine is available at clinics offered each Fall by Health Services and by appointment. They will be advertised throughout the Calvin community. It is recommended that everyone six months and older receive a flu vaccine.

Vaccine is also available in local pharmacies. The following Vaccine Finder is a useful tool for finding vaccine in your area.

NOTE: Check with your insurance for benefit coverage. Patients are responsible for charges not covered by their insurance.

For more information