Seasonal Flu Information
Seasonal flu is a respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses, spread when infected people sneeze or cough. It's the flu we catch from our family, friends and co-workers, usually during the fall and winter. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
Most people can prevent or reduce flu symptoms with 3 Simple Steps: by getting an annual flu shot, washing their hands before eating or drinking, and staying away from others who are sick.
On average, each year in the United States.
- Between 9.3 million and 49 million people in the U.S. get the flu
- More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications
- About 36,000 people die from flu-related causes
Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.
You may have heard that the 2020-2021 flu season could be a little more complicated than usual, given the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact is that with the flu and COVID-19 together, we could face two epidemics at the same time. The symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, and it can become more challenging to determine a diagnosis and the best treatment. Additionally, facing these two illness at the same time may create a significant burden on our health care system. That’s why it’s really important for all of us to do everything we can to avoid catching and spreading the flu in order to protect our loved ones and community.
So, what can you do to help? Get a flu vaccine, and get it as early in the season as possible – ideally in October 2020. It’s is more important than ever to get a flu vaccine, so you can protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and also to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key Facts About Seasonal Flu and COVID-19
Learn about the similarities and differences between the flu and COVID-19, including signs and symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
Marin County Influenza and RSV Surveillance
Learn about the flu and RSV virus activity in clinical samples and in wastewater collection sites.
Learn about what the flu virus is, common symptoms, and other key facts.
Learn about how young children, seniors, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions are more likely to get severely ill and have complications.
Learn about how flu spreads and how long people may be contagious.
The first and most important step in protecting against the flu is to get a flu shot each year. The flu vaccine provides protection that lasts through the flu season. A flu vaccine reduces your risk of illness, hospitalization, or even death and can prevent you spreading the virus to your loved ones.
Questions & Answers
- Seasonal Influenza Q&A
- National Flu Activity and Surveillance: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- California Flu Activity and Surveillance: California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
- Misconceptions About Influenza and Seasonal Influenza Vaccine