Impact of the Flu

The flu isn’t always thought of as a serious or life-threatening illness. Because of the dangers and complications influenza can have in older adults, children, and people with health problems, the perception of flu severity is changing.

Annual outbreaks of seasonal flu usually occur during the fall through early spring. In a typical year, approximately 5%-20% of the population gets seasonal flu, which is a serious disease that can cause illness, hospitalization, and death. In fact, between 3,000 and 49,000 people die from flu-related causes annually. A seasonal flu vaccine and prescription flu medications can help you be prepared.

Complications of the flu

Flu Complications

Each flu season, different flu viruses spread and affect people differently based on their bodies’ ability to fight infection. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to friends, coworkers, and family members.

Each year an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized due to flu-related complications. A prescription flu medication may help lessen symptoms and shorten the time your child is sick. Your doctor can provide you with information about prescription flu medicines that are approved for children.

Emergency warning signs in adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen.
  • Sudden dizziness.
  • Confusion.
  • Severe or persistent vomiting.

Emergency warning signs in children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing.
  • Bluish skin color.
  • Not drinking enough fluids.
  • Not waking up or not interacting.
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held.
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with a fever and a worse cough.
  • Fever with a rash.


You are now leaving

The link you have selected will take you away from this site to one that is owned by a third party and is not owned or controlled by Genentech, Inc. Genentech, Inc., makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information contained on sites we do not own or control. Genentech does not recommend and does not endorse the content on any third-party website. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such sites.