Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection that affects mainly the nose, throat, chest and lungs. The flu may cause mild to severe illness, and may even lead to death. In the very young, the elderly, and those with other serious medical conditions, infection can lead to severe complications such as pneumonia.
The influenza virus changes every year as it makes its way around the world. Since the exact flu viruses are almost never the same from year to year, the strains of influenza in the vaccine changes each year. This is why you need to get a new flu vaccine every year. The vaccine only protects you from influenza for one year.
Yearly flu vaccination is recommended for almost everyone over 6 months of age, and is especially important for those people at high risk for developing flu-related complications, such as children younger than five, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions like heart and lung problems, or diabetes.
For more information, you can contact our office or visit https://wiki.idph.iowa.gov/Portals/3/userfiles/79/Information%20on%20Other%20Diseases/Influenza%20Fact%20sheet%20Gen%20Final_doc.pdf