The flu virus is in the wet spray (droplets of saliva and mucus) that comes out of the nose and mouth of someone who coughs or sneezes. If you are close enough to a person with the flu (3 - 6 feet) when they cough or sneeze, you can breathe in the virus and get sick. Flu symptoms start 1 - 4 days (usually 2 days) after a person breathes in the ... Older adults and people with chronic diseases are more likely to have problems from the flu. It often leads to a hospital stay, and sometimes it can be fatal. But this condition is easy to prevent ... Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza. 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 for serious flu complications. The flu virus is spread from person to person by airborne droplets produced through sneezing, coughing, and speaking. The virus can live on surfaces for up to 8 hours at room temperature. Sometimes people become infected by touching objects with the flu virus on it, then touching their mouth or nose. infected with an inuenza virus each year. However, some infect-ed children do not show signs or symptoms of illness. Inuenza looks like other common cough and cold viruses but can be more serious. We do not know which children with respiratory illnesses have inuenza. During a local inuenza outbreak, the chances of a child having inu- flu” is used to describe an illness with symptoms of diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, but the “stomach flu” is not the same thing as influenza. Oklahoma State Department of Health Acute Disease Service Public Health Fact Sheet Cold vs. Flu: Know the Difference For more information call or visit us on the web: Influenza, or flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. There are two main types of influenza virus that cause infection in humans - types A and B - and many sub-types or strains. Flu can occur throughout the year but influenza activity usually peaks in winter.