Influenza (flu) is a serious disease that can make you sick for a week or longer with coughing, fever, aching and more. It can lead to pneumonia and make existing health problems worse - like diabetes, asthma and heart disease.
The flu is far more dangerous than a bad cold. It's a disease of the lungs, and it can lead to pneumonia. Each year, about 114,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and about 20,000 die because of the flu. Most who die are over 65 years old, but small children less than two years old are as likely as those over 65 to have to go to the hospital because of the flu.
Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. It also keeps you from bringing the virus home or to work to work and infecting others. There are some misconceptions about flu shots.