In last one week, over 3000 cases of flu have been recorded across United States, as per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Physicians have requested people infected with Flu to work from home to avoid spreading the illness. The Symptoms of Flu include Fever, Chills, Cough, Sore throat, Runny or stuffy nose, Muscle or body aches, Headaches and Fatigue. In Children, the symptoms also include vomiting and diarrhea.

Since 2010, Conservative estimates of flu-related deaths range from 12,000 to 56,000 and Flu-related hospitalization range from 140,000 to 710,000. CDC advocates seasonal flu vaccine to reduce the risk of becoming sick with seasonal flu, and to reduce the risk of spreading it to others.

There are two types of flu vaccines offered: Trivalent flu vaccines and Quadrivalent flu vaccines. These vaccines confer immunity for everyone above the age of 6 months. The vaccines are made available across the country in doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers. In some states, even schools and employers aid the vaccination program.

Flu shots in most cases are harmless, but sometimes lead to mild fever and aches, runny nose, sore throat, cough, vomiting and soreness around the area where the shot was given. These symptoms are usually short-lived. Every year, the vaccine is made available from October to the end of flu season.

There are four influenza viruses that cause seasonal epidemics every winter and they are classified as type A, B, C and D. Influenza C is the only exception that are thought not to cause epidemics. Influenza D is known to affect cattle and are not known to cause illness in humans. Notably, Influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged in the spring of 2009 to cause a pandemic in more than four decades.

While the development of permanent vaccines to prevent influenza is ongoing in right direction, It is of paramount importance that people access the flu shots in timely manner to avoid health issues.