Stay Healthy. Prevent the Flu.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine.
What is "the flu?"
Influenza, commonly called the flu or seasonal flu, is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs.
The flu usually spreads through the air from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Unlike the common cold, the flu can cause serious illness and can be life-threatening. Each year over 36,000 people in the U.S. die from complications of the flu.
Did you know: It takes about two weeks after getting the flu shot for it to be fully effective.
- Q & A about Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine – LAIV
(the nasal spray flu vaccine, FluMist)
- Seasonal Flu information from the CDC
- Flu Vaccines and Vaccine Safety
Flu Information Line
Dial 2-1-1, or visit online at Vermont211.org
- Get Vaccinated
- Preventing the Spread of Flu
- Who Should Get a Flu Shot
- What to Do if You Get Sick
- Flu Resources - print materials, videos & more
The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot
To help prevent the spread of flu, or any other illness that can be spread from person to person:
- Get vaccinated
- Cover your cough.
- Wash your hands often and well.
- Keep yourself healthy with rest, exercise, and eating healthy foods.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Stay home if you get sick.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
While nearly everyone will benefit from a flu shot, for some people the flu can lead to serious complications.
The Department of Health and CDC encourage all Vermonters to get vaccinated, especially those at high risk of complications.
Vaccination is recommended if you are:
- Aged 6 months and older
- At high risk of complications from the flu, or if you care for or are in contact with someone who is at high risk
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding mothers
- All adults 50 years of age and older
- Residents of nursing homes and other long term care facilities.
- Healthcare workers
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who have immunosuppression
- Anyone with a condition that can compromise respiratory function
- People at high risk for severe complications from influenza
Call your health care provider right away if flu symptoms are severe.
Is It a Cold or Flu?
Flu symptoms can often be confused with the common cold, but the flu usually comes on more suddenly and is more severe.
Symptoms of flu may include fever (usually high), headache, tiredness and weakness (can be extreme), dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body or muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (much more common among children than adults).
A person who is sick with the flu is contagious. That means they can spread viruses. Adults can be contagious from one day before having symptoms to seven days after getting sick. Children can be contagious for longer than seven days.
If you start to get flu symptoms:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Don't use alcohol or tobacco.
- Stay home from work or school to protect others from catching your illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze.
- Take medication to lessen the symptoms of flu, but NEVER give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, especially fever, without first checking with your health care provider.
Vermont Department of Health
108 Cherry Street
Burlington, VT 05401