Last year, 500,000 people in the US were hospitalized with the flu or complications from the flu, with 50,000 deaths reported.
The best way to prevent the flu is getting vaccinated, and practicing healthy habits like hand washing and staying in if you feel ill. Flu is transmitted through the air and can spread as far as four feet through coughs and sneezes. People can even spread the disease before they become symptomatic.
If you do have flu or flu like symptoms, which include cough, congestion, fever, and muscle aches, your doctor can diagnose and start treatment with a rapid results test.