Influenza A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics of diseases almost every winter. Emergence of new and diverging influenza A virus can cause pandemics.
It is a highly contagious respiratory illness that infects the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. The illness ranges from mild to severe, and at times, can lead to death.
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.
Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu-related illnesses and the risk of serious complications. CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions (staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing) to help slow the spread of pathogens.
Source: Centers for Disease Control
CERID is working to improve understanding of innate immunity to viral infections.