Influenza (the flu) can be a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Flu viruses are constantly changing. Each flu season, different flu viruses can spread, and they can affect people differently based on differences in their immune systems.

In the U.S., thousands of healthy adults and children see a doctor or are hospitalized from flu complications each year. Flu vaccination can help protect you and your family from the flu and its complications.

Anyone can get sick from the flu. While the flu can make anyone sick, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu. Symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea.

Everyone 6 months of age and older is recommended to get the 2014-2015 flu vaccine, with rare exceptions.

Much of the U.S. population is at increased risk from serious flu complications, either because of their age or because they have a medical condition like asthma, diabetes (type 1 and 2), or heart conditions; or because they are pregnant.

More than one-third of people 50 through 64 years of age have one or more chronic medical conditions that put them at increased risk of serious complications from flu. For more information about people at high risk of serious flu-related complications, visit: