Your Guide to Fighting the Flu

On a mission to fight off the flu this year? Read our influenza guide to stay healthy this season.

Influenza, commonly called “the Flu,” is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It can affect the nose, throat, and lungs, causing mild to severe illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Many experts believe the flu spreads primarily through droplets of bodily fluid that people emit when they cough, sneeze, or even talk. People may also become infected with the flu by touching a surface that has the flu virus on it.

The flu is particularly dreaded for its telltale symptoms: Fever, chills, cough, stuffy nose, body aches, and fatigue. Those symptoms can last anywhere from one to four days, according to the CDC.

Influenza is most dangerous for people older than 65, pregnant women, young children, and anyone suffering from chronic illness.

Learn more about how you can prevent and treat the flu as well as identify its symptoms with our guide. If you believe you need medical attention, contact UPMC.