What is the flu virus?

Flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory virus that affects the respiratory system and spreads easily from person-to-person through coughing and sneezing. It can cause mild to severe illness, and even death in some cases. Symptoms include: Fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. For a weekly summary of seasonal flu activity in suburban Cook County, click here. A PDF version of the report can be accessed here.

Keep your family strong. Vaccinate. Fight Flu.

Who should get a flu vaccine?

With rare exception, CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women and people with medical conditions.

Don’t wait to vaccinate

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and your family from flu and flu-related complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or worsening of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, or diabetes. It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to provide full protection. Since flu season could begin in October and last into May, it’s best to get vaccinated now. People who are at increased risk of developing serious complications from flu should definitely get a flu vaccine; as should their caregivers.

Flu vaccine delivery options for 2017-18

Vaccine for the 2017-2018 flu season has been updated to better match circulating flu viruses. CDC recommends vaccination with an injectable flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older (who do not have contraindications); before the end of October, if possible. Click here to learn more about vaccine recommendations.

For more information about flu, prevention, symptoms and treatment, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flu website. For flu vaccine, contact your primary care provider, local pharmacy, Ambulatory and Community Health Network of Cook County clinics or use the Vaccine Finder above, right.  

Limit the spread of illness

In addition to getting vaccinated, encourage family members to take these common sense measures to protect against flu.

Practice the three C’s to stay healthy and prevent germs from spreading at home, work and school:

  1. Clean: properly wash your hands frequently
  2. Cover: cover your cough and sneeze
  3. Contain: contain your germs by staying home
    if you are sick