Influenza, or the "flu,” is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses infecting the nose, throat and lungs.
Symptoms include muscle or body aches, headaches, cough, sore throat, fatigue, fever or chills, and vomiting and diarrhea (the latter two are more common in kids). The flu can also worsen chronic medical conditions or cause death.
Unfortunately, flu viruses can spread easily via infected people coughing, sneezing or even just talking. Folks are contagious a day before symptoms appear and up to a week after getting sick.
It’s also possible to get the flu by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
The CDC recommends getting vaccinated as early as possible, as it takes a few weeks to reach full immunity.
To find where you can get a flu shot near you, just enter your zip code in "The Flu Vaccine Finder" provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the top of this article.