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Check in this fall for information about the 2021 flu season

Flu symptoms and what to do

If you think you have the flu, check with a healthcare provider right away. At UW Medicine, you can:

Flu symptoms:

  • Fever over 100.4 F (38 C)
  • Aching muscles
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat

Important: not everyone with flue with have a fever. For more information about symptoms and how to stay flu free this winter, visit the CDC website

Learn more about the flu vaccine


The Center for Disease and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older for annual vaccination, with rare exception.

Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of developing serious flu complications. 

Children 6 months through 8 years of age may need 2 doses during a single flu season. Everyone else needs only 1 dose each flu season.


It’s a good idea to get vaccinated in late fall. In the U.S., the flu season peaks between late November and March, and it takes your body up to two weeks to form the antibodies that protect you. 

The CDC also recommends that children 6 months through 8 years of age who need two doses of the flu vaccine should receive their first dose as soon as the vaccine becomes available. This will allow the second dose (which must be administered at least 4 weeks later) to be received by the end of October.


The CDC recommends any licensed flu vaccine that is appropriate for the recipient’s age and health status (IIV, RIV4, or LAIV4). It does not express a preference for any one vaccine over another. Talk with your healthcare provider about which vaccination is the best option for you.

The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) or FluMist) is recommended for people who are healthy and between the ages of ages 2 to 49. Pregnant women and children under the age of 2 should not get the nasal vaccine. The CDC also lists precautions for people with certain underlying medical conditions