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The Flu: CDC Quick Facts

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What is the Flu?
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.

How can the flu affect me?
It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Complications caused by the flu include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions. Children may get sinus problems and ear infections as complications from the flu.

How can the flu shot help me?
The flu shot protects against three influenza viruses that will be most common during the upcoming flu season.

Who should get a flu shot?
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.

Does the shot have any side effects?
Serious complications from the flu vaccine are extremely rare. The most common side effect of the flu vaccine in adults is soreness at the spot where the shot was given.

Where can I learn more?
Visit flu.gov for more information regarding influenza and the seasonal flu vaccine.

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