Influenza 

Woman sneezing into a tissue

The flu is an illness caused by influenza viruses. Because the flu is a viral infection, antibiotics are not an effective form of treatment. Antibiotics are, however, useful in treating secondary bacterial infections that can result from or occur with the flu. It is possible for people to catch the flu by touching objects (telephones, eating utensils, doorknobs, etc…) contaminated with flu viruses and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Every year in the U.S., 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu and about 36,000 people die as a result of flu-related causes. The flu season in the U.S. usually occurs during the winter months; however, cases can occur throughout the year.

 
See USAPHC influenza products in the Health Information Products eCatalog.

Topics

Pandemic Influenza

Pandemic flu is a human flu that causes a global outbreak of illness. Because most people have no immunity to a pandemic virus, infection rates during a pandemic are expected to be higher than those during outbreaks of seasonal flu.

Seasonal Influenza

Seasonal flu is an illness caused by influenza viruses that is expected each year. The seasonal flu in the U.S. usually occurs during the winter months; however, cases can occur throughout the year.