Flu Facts for Kids

A Picture of Someone Sick With the Flu
  • Disease Name: Influenza
  • Disease Alternate Name: Flu or The Flu
  • Disease Types: A, B, C and D
  • Transmission Methods: Respiratory and Surface Contact
  • Treatment Methods: Anti-viral Medicine and Hydration
  • Prevention Methods: Hand Washing and Avoiding Infected

25 Flu Facts for Kids

  1. The flu is an infection caused by influenza virus.
  2. The severity of a flu infection varies by strain, ranging from mild to very severe.
  3. Many people infected with the flu recovered with rest, but in severe cases hospitalized may be required.
  4. A flu infection can result in a wide range of symptoms, including but not limited to coughing, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, runny nose or a sore throat.
  5. A flu infection can last up to two weeks. Symptoms start to appear between one to four days after you’re initially infected and can last between five to seven days.
  6. A flu infection can become serious when other complications arise, like viral or bacterial pneumonia.
  7. According to the World Health Organization, the average flu season results in 3 to 5 million severe illness cases and between 290,000 and 650,000 deaths worldwide.
  8. The flu season is used to define the time when multiple influenza viruses are circulating.
  9. The flu season in the United States is between October and March and peaks between December and February.
  10. The seasonal flu shot is a vaccine given to people to help protect them from the flu strains. You need to get a flu shot every year because the strains circulating constantly change.
  11. The influenza virus is typically spread through the inhalation of respiratory drops ejected from an infected person’s nose or lungs via a cough or sneeze.
  12. The best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get your annual flu shot. You can also reduce the chances of getting the flu by washing your hands often and avoid touching your face.
  13. Some bad flu seasons can turn into influenza pandemics and result in a large loss of life.
  14. The 1889-1890 influenza pandemic (Russian flu) killed around 1 million people.
  15. The 1957-58 influenza pandemic (Asian flu) killed between 1 and 4 million people.
  16. The 1968 influenzas pandemic (Hong Kong flu) killed between 750,000 and 1 million people.
  17. The worst influenza pandemic in recorded history was the 1918 flu pandemic, also known as the Spanish flu.
  18. The Spanish flu infected a third of the world’s population between 1918 and 1920, about 500 million people.
  19. The Spanish flu is estimated to have killed between 17 and 50 million people, which makes it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.
  20. The Spanish flu and was caused by H1N1, a subtype of the influenza A virus.
  21. There are four types of influenza viruses; A, B, C and D.
  22. The influenza A virus (Type A) can infect humans, some mammals and birds.
  23. The influenza B virus (Type B) can infect humans and seals (Pinnipeds).
  24. The influenza C virus (Type C) can infect humans and pigs (Sus).
  25. The influenza D virus (Type D) can infect cattle and pigs.

Additional Resources on Influenza