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Diseases DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Influenza Influenza (flu) is a viral infection that causes fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle ache, and fatigue. A child’s doctor may recommend an over-the-counter medication to reduce fever and discomfort. Never give aspirin to children with viral illnesses like the flu! Aspirin has been associated with the development of Reye syndrome, a rare but life-threatening condition. Most people who get the flu recover fully within one to two weeks. However, some people develop serious complications, such as pneumonia. The annual flu season is usually from November through April. During this time, flu viruses circulate widely. An annual flu vaccination is the best way to reduce the chance of getting the flu. Yearly flu vaccinations are recommended for children six months of age and older and for all adults. Flu vaccine can be given in two ways. The flu shot, usually given in the arm, is approved for use among people six months of age or older, including healthy people and those with chronic medical conditions. A different kind of vaccine can be given in a nasal (nose) spray. It is approved for use among healthy people two to forty-nine years of age. The flu virus changes, so the vaccine is different each year. The vaccine protects against the influenza virus strains expected for that year. From Hip on Health: Health Information for Caregivers and Families by Charlotte M. Hendricks. Published by Redleaf Press. www.redleafpress.org. 12 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL