Factsheet about seasonal influenza
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Risk groups for severe influenza
Some people are at high risk of serious complications as a result of influenza, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death. The risk groups includes people who are more likely than others to develop severe disease if they should be infected, such as the elderly, pregnant women, young children and people with underlying health conditions.
Types of seasonal influenza vaccine
Injected trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines are most commonly used throughout the world. Influenza antigen preparation varies between manufacturers. The inactivated influenza vaccines available in the EU/EEA may contain either split virion influenza virus products or subunit influenza products. Adjuvanted inactivated subunit influenza vaccine for older people is available in some EU/EEA Member States and is since 2015 authorised for younger children in Canada but not yet in Europe.
Interim technical guidance on public health use of influenza antivirals during influenza pandemics
Antiviral drugs are an important addition to the public health arsenal against influenza. This interim guidance discusses the options for their effective use, especially during a pandemic.
Interim technical guidance on use of specific pandemic influenza vaccines during the H1N1 2009 pandemic
This interim guidance outlines the possible strategies that countries may wish to adopt in the deployment of a pandemic-specific vaccine, considering the two objectives of vaccination: protecting those at greatest risk of severe disease and maintaining essential services.