Health Topics

Current Health Topics and Information

On these pages we feature information about national health awareness topics that may impact you, your family or friends. 
We also have links to information about current, national health awareness celebrations and observances.  
Check back often to learn more.


Influenza (Flu)

Preventing Seasonal Flu

The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death. To help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu, CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions like:

  • Staying away from people who are sick.

  • Covering coughs and sneezes.

  • Frequent handwashing.

What is Influenza (Flu)?

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

Flu Symptoms

Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue (tiredness)

  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

  • *It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

People at High Risk from Flu

Anyone can get flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes

  • People 65 years and older.

  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease).

  • Pregnant women.

  • Children younger than 5 years.