What you need to know about the flu this season

While seasonal influenza can be detected year-round, flu viruses are most common during fall and winter.

Flu activity often begins to increase in October and peaks between December and March, reports AccuWeather. Because flu season coincides with cold weather and the symptoms are often similar to having a bad cold, people think the flu is a bad cold or that they can catch the flu by going out in the cold while wet or without a coat.

The only way to catch the flu is being exposed to the influenza virus. It is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that affects the nose, throat and lungs. The flu can be very dangerous, especially for children, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.

Thousands of people die from seasonal flu every year as a result of that or other flu complications like bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and dehydration. The best way to prevent the flu, says AccuWeather, is to get a yearly vaccine.
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