Quiz: Influenza

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Its common symptoms can put us out of commission for a few days, but left untreated, the complications can be life-threatening.1 Take our quiz to test your knowledge about the flu and to help you prepare for the upcoming flu season.

1. True or False: If you get vaccinated, you won’t get the flu.

You can still get the flu even if you are vaccinated. For example, you may be exposed to a different strain of the flu virus that the vaccine does not protect against, or you may have been exposed days before you were vaccinated.2 Regardless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that almost everyone over six months of age get vaccinated annually for the flu as an important first step in preventing what can be a very serious illness.2

2. What are some common symptoms of the flu?

All of the above
Muscle or body aches
Cough and sore throat
Fever or chills
Influenza is caused by a flu virus and symptoms come on suddenly and vary from mild to severe.3 Some common flu symptoms include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, as well as a runny or stuffy nose, headaches and fatigue.3 Visit your doctor right away if you start feeling these or other flu-related symptoms.

3. How does the flu spread?

Through the air or by touching an infected surface
Through blood
Through spoiled food
The flu primarily spreads via droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.4 You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth or nose.4

4. How long are you contagious once you have the flu?

1 week after becoming sick
3-4 days after becoming sick
1 day before symptoms start and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick
1 day after getting sick
The flu is highly contagious which is why it’s important to avoid those who are sick and to stay home if you feel ill. Besides getting rest, visit your doctor immediately to see if an antiviral treatment may be helpful.4

5. Who is at high risk for developing complications from the flu?

All of the above
Pregnant women
People 65 years and older
While anyone can get the flu, some people are at high risk of developing serious complications from the flu. This includes people over 65 years old, those with certain chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and young children.5 Regardless of whether you’re high risk or not, it’s important to consult with your doctor right away if you start experiencing sudden flu symptoms.

6. What steps can you take to prevent the flu?

Get vaccinated
All of the above
Wash your hands frequently
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for almost everyone over six months of age.6 However, you can also take other steps like avoiding people you know are sick, washing your hands regularly and covering your mouth when you cough to help slow the spread of germs.6

7. True or False: There’s nothing you can do to treat the flu once you get it.

There are antiviral medicines that can attack the flu virus at its source and stop it from spreading in the body.6 It’s important that these antivirals are taken within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms, so make sure you visit your doctor right away if you think you have the flu.

Learn more about the flu by checking out our flu factsheet.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About Flu. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about. Accessed August 15, 2018.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Misconceptions About Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/misconceptions.htm. Accessed August 15, 2018.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu Symptoms & Complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/symptoms.htm. Accessed August 15, 2018.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How Flu Spreads. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm. Accessed August 15, 2018.
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People at High Risk of Developing Flu–Related Complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm. Accessed August 15, 2018.
6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza (Flu): Preventative Steps. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm. Accessed August 15, 2018.