If you feel miserable – fever, aches, body chills, headache, congestion, coughing – you may have caught the flu. Influenza is a contagious illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs, sometimes in similar ways to a common cold. However, the flu can also cause severe illness and even lead to death – especially in babies, elderly and sick people. The flu is much more dangerous than a cold.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. Since the flu is spread from person to person through respiratory droplets, you can also protect yourself by limiting close contact with sick people, washing your hands often, and keeping your hands away from your mouth, nose or eyes.