The flu, short for influenza, is a contageous virus that is most often passed around during the winter season. Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, cough, body aches, headache, sore throat and lack of appetite, and usually go away in about two weeks.
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The flu - or influenza - is a viral infection of the respiratory system. People are more likely to get the flu during the winter months. People catch the flu from close contact with infected individuals. Factors that can increase a person's risk for developing the flu include age (young children and people over 65), working in a healthcare facility or with children, living in a small community (nursing home) and having either a weakened immune system or a chronic illness.
In most cases, the flu causes symptoms that go away in about two weeks. However, the flu can be more serious for certain people. Pregnant women, people with weak immune systems, older adults and young children are all at risk for developing serious flu complications. These complications include bronchitis, sinus and ear infections, pneumonia and even death.