Influenza is not a joke. Commonly called the flu, influenza is a highly contagious virus that usually causes mild to severe respiratory illness but can also lead to death.1 Don’t be confused, though: the flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly, with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue.1

According to the CDC, “Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.”2