Flu Prevention

Saving lives, protecting your workforce

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to any illness, and influenza (the flu) is no exception. Learn how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helps to safeguard our nation. CDC’s efforts range from working to predict what flu viruses may spread during the upcoming flu season, to monitoring where flu is causing illness, to providing information that helps protect businesses, communities and individuals against flu.

Flu Prevention

Business Challenges

Each year, on average, 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu, tens of thousands are hospitalized and thousands die from flu-related illness. This costs an estimated $10.4 billion a year in direct medical expenses and an additional $16.3 billion in lost earnings annually. Employers can play an important role in preventing flu, helping to protect employees’ health and reducing losses in productivity and revenue.

Molinari NA, et al. Vaccine 25 (2007)

Flu Seasons are unpredictable and vary in severity

But statistics underscore the seriousness of the disease

It has been estimated that each year in the United States, flu results in:

50,000 will experience some health problem abroad

Influenza can make anyone sick


Including healthy employees critical to business continuity. During the 2013-2014 season, for example:

Adults 18-64 years of age accounted for almost 60% of reported flu hospitalizations.

CDC FluView Interactive

Children are the most likely to become infected with flu, and children younger than five years of age are among those who are at high risk of serious flu complications.

According to a 2012 CDC Study:

Caregivers of children sick with flu had medical expenses ranging from About $300 to $4,000

Work hours lost by caregivers seeking medical care for children sick with flu
in outpatient settings
in emergency departments

Caregivers of hospitalized children reported an average of 73 hours of work time lost (equivalent to about $1,456)

Ortega-Sanchez IR, et al. Vaccine 30 (2012)


CDC Business Benefits

CDC is one of the world’s foremost experts on influenza. American businesses, employees and communities rely on CDC to provide the best guidance possible on how to prevent and control the spread of influenza.

Vaccination is the single best way to prevent the flu

During 2012-2013, an estimated 45 percent of the U.S. population got vaccinated, helping to prevent an estimated 6.6 million flu-related illnesses, 3.2 million flu-related medical visits and 79,000 hospitalizations.

Many more people could have been protected if they had gotten vaccinated.

CDC. MMWR 62 (2013)

CDC provides employers, healthcare providers and the public with key, up-to-date information about influenza.

CDC's Business Toolkit

and free web tools, videos, posters and brochures make it easy for employers to promote annual flu vaccination

CDC Also Provides

information about antiviral drugs to treat flu, and tips on good health habits that help stop the spread of germs

CDC's Tailored Messages

speak directly to people who are at high risk of developing flu-related complications—many of whom are in the workforce—including:

  • Pregnant women
  • People with certain medical conditions such as asthma, morbid obesity, diabetes and heart disease

CDC Answers

employees’ misconceptions and questions about flu and vaccine

CDC's Fluview

helps you learn about flu activity in your state

CDC plays a major role in deciding

which flu viruses

the annual flu vaccine will protect against

CDC collaborates with many U.S. and international partners to

Monitor Flu Year-Round

Did You Know

Getting Vaccinated

protects you and the people around you who may be more vulnerable to serious flu illness.

The flu can affect any age>

Infants younger than six months old are too young to get vaccinated. That's why its so important for their caregivers to get vaccinated.

The timing of the flu season

is unpredictable and varies by year.

Flu activity usually peaks between January and March and can last until May.

CDC recommends getting vaccinated

Every Fall

As long as flu is circulating,

It's not too late to get vaccinated

The flu vaccine protects against several different flu viruses, providing protection all season long.

Antiviral drugs

are a second line of defense that can treat flu if you get sick.

Flu viruses can change from season to season and immunity declines over time so it is important to get vaccinated each year.


Take Action

Leverage CDC’s free resources to better protect your business and your employees from influenza.

CDC Business Toolkit

Access a CDC Business Toolkit and free resources for flu-fighting strategies and materials

The Toolkit includes:

Free Web Tools
Brochures & Posters
Visit CDC's Business Toolkit
For Business Leaders

Encourage employees to get vaccinated

  • Host a vaccination clinic
  • Promote flu vaccination in your community
  • Partner with a provider or pharmacy
  • Share the Flu Vaccine Finder
  • Offer free or reduced-cost vaccines
  • Announce availability through newsletters, email or paycheck inserts

Prevent the spread of germs and remind employees to

  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Stay home and away from others when they’re sick
  • Practice other good health habits

Lead By Example

  • Get vaccinated annually
  • Check with your doctor if you’re pregnant or have certain medical conditions and get flu symptoms
For Employees

Lead By Example

  • Get vaccinated annually
  • Encourage coworkers and family to get vaccinated

Check with your doctor promptly

  • If you’re pregnant or have certain medical conditions and you get flu symptoms

Stop the spread of germs at work and at home

  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Stay home and away from others when you’re sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Practice other good health habits

Stay Current

with the latest CDC information on flu activity in the United States

Interactive, Real-Time Tracking:
1. Take time to get a flu vaccine
2. Take everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of germs
3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them

Learn about this flu season

For more information on how CDC helps businesses and communities

For more flu prevention tips and flu facts, follow @CDCFLU on Twitter

For more details about CDC's flu prevention resources and to sign up for future issues of Business Pulse