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Influenza, also known as the flu, is an infection caused by a virus. The flu mainly affects the nose, throat, and lungs (respiratory system). This infection causes common cold symptoms, as well as a high fever and body aches.
If you get the flu, your friends and family are also at risk of getting it because the flu spreads easily to others.
Having the flu can lead to complications, such as pneumonia, ear infection, and sinus infection. The flu also can be life-threatening, especially for babies, people older than age 65, and people who have serious long-term diseases.
Do not use any products that contain nicotine or tobacco. These products include cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and vaping devices, such as e-cigarettes. If you need help quitting, ask your health care provider.
Most young people recover from the flu by resting at home and drinking plenty of fluids. You or your parents may ask your health care provider whether you should take any over-the-counter cold medicines.
These symptoms may represent a serious problem that is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services (911 in the U.S.). Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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