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The single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent the flu.
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Influenza, commonly called "the flu" is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, and lungs). Influenza is a leading cause of illness in the United States and can lead to serious medical conditions, hospitalization, or even death. Flu seasons are unpredictable. They can begin early in the fall and last late into the spring. Influenza is extremely contagious and spreads very easily in communities. The best way to protect yourself from the flu is by getting an annual flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available.
It is recommended that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. It is especially important for individuals at high risk for having serious flu-related complications such as:
*It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Doctors' offices, pharmacies, and clinics often have flu vaccines available. Butte County Public Health sponsors many free vaccination clinics throughout flu season and offers free or low-cost vaccinations for eligible individuals in their Chico and Oroville health clinics.