About the Flu
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 (especially children under 2), pregnant women and people with certain health conditions are at a higher risk for serious complications from the flu.
During the 2017–2018 flu season, 180 children died from flu and flu-associated illness. Thousands more children were hospitalized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 80% of the children who died had not received a flu vaccination.
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. See Flu Vaccination for Current Patients and Families to learn when vaccinations are available at Seattle Children's.
More on Flu Symptoms and Prevention
- Flu Vaccination Information and Other Ways to Prevent Flu
- Flu Vaccination for Current Patients and Families
- Flu Symptoms, Treatment and Chronic Conditions
- Flu Resources to Help You Learn More
Reminder: Visitors who are sick or have been exposed to an illness should not come to the hospital.
Information updated: September 6, 2018