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What is the
Influenza, commonly called the Flu, is a seasonal contagious virus that infects your upper respiratory tract, causing a range of symptoms including high temperature, aches and pains, a dry cough, and fatigue. It is spread through airborne droplets when the infected cough or sneeze. Typically symptoms only last for about a week. The flu can affect people of all ages, and it generally spreads during the winter.
While both are caused by viruses, the common cold and the flu are different, and the flu can have a much more severe impact for those who are most at risk, such as people with asthma.
What is the
The flu vaccine helps your immune system to produce antibodies to fight the flu virus. The vaccine decreases the risk of contracting the flu if you are in contact with someone who is infected, or is high risk for infection.
Each year, there are several strains of the flu, and these can change year by year. As a result of this, it is important to get vaccinated each year if you are at risk.
It is available as an injection for adults, or as a nasal spray for children, and typically takes 2 to 3 weeks to build protection against the virus.
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