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Causes of the Flu

INFLUENZA (the flu) IS A VERY CONTAGIOUS INFECTION CAUSED BY FLU VIRUSES.  The flu can cause a mild to severe infection in your nose, sinuses, throat and lungs. Every year, severe cases of the flu result in many hospitalizations and deaths.

Although flu infections can occur at any time throughout the year, the risk increases in the fall and peaks in the winter.

Here are the common ways that you can get infected with the flu virus:

  • When someone infected with the flu talks, sneezes or coughs, tiny droplets of secretions become airborne. These droplets can land in your nose, mouth, sinuses or lungs and cause an infection.
  • Touching a surface that is infected with the flu virus (e.g., door handles, light switches, hand rails, taps, remote controls, keyboards) then touching your nose, mouth or eyes.
  • Sharing infected objects (e.g., utensils, glass/cup) with someone who has the flu infection.

You may be able to spread the flu infection to others up to a day before you even notice symptoms.