Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently.

Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. The seasonal flu season in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.

During this time, flu viruses are circulating in the population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others.

When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community. Most drug stores and hospitals are currently administering flu shots at little to no cost.