What Is Flu Season?
Flu season is the time of year when the flu virus is most common. Flu season usually begins when cold weather appears. Why? There’s no apparent reason. It’s simply a characteristic of the flu and the timing of the seasons.
Outbreaks of the flu occur in different seasonal patterns around the world. In temperate climate zones, flu season will typically begin in the late fall and peak in mid-to-late winter. In tropical zones, flu seasons appear to be less pronounced, with year-round isolation of the virus.
Flu Season in the United States
Annual outbreaks of seasonal flu usually occur during the fall through early spring. In a typical year, approximately 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the seasonal flu. Flu-related deaths range from 3,000 to 48,600 (average 23,600). A seasonal flu vaccine is available.
The overall health impact of the flu varies from year to year. Unfortunately, rates of infection, hospitalizations, and deaths can’t be predicted, but by identifying flu symptoms, and knowing about flu treatment and flu prevention options, you can be better prepared to face the flu season.
Flu Fighter Coloring Book
Track the Flu
Enter your ZIP code below to track the flu level in your area.
See our YouTube videos!
Learn more about Flu prevention on YouTube. Watch our videos >
Stop the Flu
There are prescription medicines that can help prevent you from getting the flu — or shorten the duration if you already have it.
Learn more ›
Are You “That Guy”?
If you think you have the flu, do the right thing. Watch the video ›
Sponsored by the NFID (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases)
Tips to Stay Flu-Free
Good preventive health habits, an annual flu vaccine, and prescription antivirals can help keep you and your family flu-free — all year long!
Learn more ›
Get FluF.A.C.T.S. Alerts
Is It Flu?
You have sudden fever, aches, chills, and tiredness.
What to do?
Check your symptoms ›