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About the Flu

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Flu Basics

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Influenza viruses cause flu. The viruses spread from person to person when infected people cough, sneeze or touch objects. Flu can be mild or severe, and can even cause death. Older people, children under 5 and people with certain health conditions are at a higher risk for serious complications from the flu.

Flu season usually begins in December and lasts until April in the United States. Flu vaccinations are usually available starting in September, and it’s best to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available.

We work closely with Public Health – Seattle and King County, the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to keep you informed during flu season.

More on Flu Symptoms and Prevention

Reminder: Visitors who are sick or have been exposed to an illness should not come to the hospital.

Information updated: September 5, 2013

Videos

Flu Vaccinations for Children 3:31Expand
11.24.08

Dr. Danielle Zerr discusses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated flu vaccine recommendations for children, and offers parents advice on ways to protect their children from the flu.

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Proper Hand Hygiene 3:12Expand
5.8.09

See how to teach your child proper hand hygiene behaviors. 

Play Video
Healthlink: Flu ProtectionExpand
10.30.10

Seattle Children’s Dr. Danielle Zerr discusses a new study suggesting there's a way moms can lower influenza's toll on babies — by getting the shots before they're even born.

Play Video