Flu (or influenza) is a seasonal respiratory (lung) infection that causes fever and a cough or sore throat. It is most common during the fall and winter months. Every year, more than 2,000 New Yorkers die of seasonal influenza and pneumonia, which can develop as a complication of flu.
Vaccination is the BEST way to protect against the flu. Flu vaccine can be given in a shot (needle injection), or in a nasal spray called FluMist (for healthy people aged 2 to 49). Your doctor can tell you what is right for you.
For more information, see Influenza Germs are Everywhere. The Vaccine is Your Best Protection. (PDF)
Epi Brief: Influenza in New York City (PDF)
Press release: Health Department Launches New Campaign to Encourage Influenza Vaccination for Children
City Health Information: Influenza Prevention and Control, 2013-2014 (PDF)
Cover your cough and wash your hands!
To prevent the spread of flu and other infections:
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or the inside of your elbow – not your hand.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (PDF).
- Don’t get too close to people who are sick. Maintain a distance of 3 feet. If you get sick yourself, avoid close contact with other people.