Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. The best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinated each year. There are an abundance of places in the community where someone can obtain a flu vaccine. It is especially encouraged that people get them through their primary care providers but other places such as Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Meijer, Walmart and Kroger Pharmacies offer them. Many employers offer them free of charge to employees. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, immunizations are considered preventive services and covered by most health insurances with no out of pocket expenses to pay. Flu shots are encouraged for anyone 6 months or older. You can see who is most at risk for the flu and learn more about this year’s vaccine by going to www.flu.gov.