Flu (short for influenza) is an illness caused by influenza viruses. Flu viruses infect the nose, upper airways, throat, and lungs. Flu spreads easily and can cause serious illness, especially for young children, older people, pregnant women, and people with chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, COPD and heart diseases.
Flu symptoms can include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle or body aches, tiredness, vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
Flu is much more serious than common cold. It is caused by a different group of viruses. Flu can be intense and even lead to serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or even lead to hospitalization. Millions of children & seniors get sick with flu each year and thousands are hospitalized. Individuals with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, cardiac diseases, and children younger than 5 years old are more likely to suffer from serious complications of flu. Healthy individuals who suffer from flu may have to miss work and important life events or even stay home to prevent spreading the infection to larger community.
Annual Flu shot is the best way to prevent Influenza. It reduces the risk of flu illness and hospitalization across age group (above 6 months of age). It has proved lifesaving and reduces the risk of developing serious flu complication especially in young children and high-risk individuals. It helps prevent spreading flu to the family and friends, including babies younger than 6 months who are too young to get a flu vaccine.
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), Indian Medical Association (IMA) & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend individuals to receive all vaccines according to the recommended Vaccination schedule.