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Influenza Facts

  • Influenza is the sixth leading cause of death among American adults.

  • Each year, about 36,000 people die from influenza, and 114,000 people are hospitalized.

  • Influenza is a highly contagious disease that is spread by coughing, sneezing and through direct physical contact with objects that carry the virus such as doorknobs and telephones.

  • Symptoms of influenza include fever, extreme fatigue, headache and body aches; about 50% of infected people have no symptoms but are still contagious.

  • Immunization is 70-90% effective in preventing influenza in health people under the age of 65.

  • The influenza vaccine cannot cause influenza.

  • New variants of influenza arise each year and therefore a new vaccine must be made and given each year.