Health Department

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administration office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location.

TTY 711

10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030

Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.,
Director of Health

Influenza (Flu)

Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to get a yearly flu vaccine and take other steps to prevent the spread of flu.
Find a flu vaccine at


Woman sitting on sofa covering her nose and mouth with a tissue and reading a thermometer in her handInfluenza, also known as the flu, is a highly contagious infection of the breathing system (nose, throat and lungs) caused by flu viruses.

Seasonal flu is caused by viruses that already circulate among people. Most people have some immunity and a vaccine is available to help prevent the flu. In the United States, flu season usually starts in late fall and lasts throughout the winter, sometimes into early spring. Each year, more than 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized from complications of the flu, and about 36,000 die as a result.

2022-2023 Flu Season

January 30: It’s not too late: vaccinate your child against seasonal flu

Health experts urge everyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu shot this year and every year. It's not too late to get yours, find a location near you.

Public Health leaders in Northern Virginia are encouraging residents to maintain their vigilance in preventing flu, as well as RSV and COVID-19. See: Northern Virginia Health Districts Urge Vigilance in Virus Prevention in Advance of Holiday Gatherings.

See more: CDC's Frequently Asked Flu Questions: 2022-2023 Season. 

Where to get a flu vaccine

Flu vaccine is available now in the community, including at pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and grocery stores. Find a location near you using

The Health Department is offering flu shots for children and adults by appointment only. Call 703-246-7100.

The following fees will apply for a flu vaccine at the Health Department: Uninsured: $25 adults & $21.24 children; Private Insurance: $30. Most health insurance plans cover flu shots for free. The Health Department is out-of-network for private health insurance. If you have private health insurance, you are encouraged to get the flu vaccine at an in-network provider. 

Did You Know?

  • An annual flu vaccine is the best way to fight the flu.
  • Flu vaccine is safe and effective. 
  • There is no live flu virus in the injectable vaccine and it cannot cause the flu. 
  • The CDC recommend that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu EVERY year, especially people who are at high risk.

Flu Basics

How Flu Spreads

The main way flu viruses spread is from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. When someone with the flu coughs or sneezes, droplets containing the virus are sprayed into the air. Someone else can become infected if they breathe the infected droplets, or touch infected droplets on surfaces and then touch their own eyes, nose or mouth.

Symptoms of Flu

Flu symptoms can often be confused with the common cold, but the flu usually comes on more suddenly and is more severe than the common cold. Symptoms of flu may include fever (usually high), headache, tiredness and weakness (can be extreme), dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body or muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (much more common among children than adults). People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose and typically do not develop serious health problems.

A person who is sick with the flu is contagious, meaning they can spread the virus. Adults can be contagious from one day before having symptoms to seven days after getting sick. Children can be contagious for even longer than seven days.

Learn more about the difference between flu and a common cold and how to care for yourself at home when you are sick with the flu.

Preventing the Flu

Getting an annual flu vaccine protects yourself, your family, and the vulnerable people in your community. 

Learn more ways to fight the flu.

Complications of Flu and When to Seek Care

In some people, flu can cause serious complications such as bacterial pneumonia, dehydration and heart failure. The people most at risk of complications for seasonal flu are:

  • Children younger than 2 years.
  • Adults 65 and older.
  • People with weakened immune systems and chronic illnesses such as asthma, congestive heart failure and diabetes.

If you have underlying medical conditions you are at greater risk of developing flu-related complications; you should consult your doctor if you have flu symptoms.

When to seek medical care for flu

What you should know about flu antiviral drugs

Other Types of Flu

Flu Information for Health Care Professionals and Laboratories

Flu Reporting

Physicians and laboratories are encouraged to report any laboratory-confirmed influenza (including rapid tests) to the Fairfax County Health Department. Please contact the Communicable Disease/Epidemiology unit with any questions at 703-246-2433.

Monitoring Flu Activity

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Fairfax County Health Department monitor the level of activity of influenza-like illness (ILI) each week from October through May. Those are the months when flu is most likely to occur in Virginia, and that time period is referred to as the “flu season.”

We track:

  • Pneumonia and Influenza deaths in Fairfax County.
  • Number of students absent from Fairfax County schools.
  • Influenza-like illnesses reported from specific medical offices in Fairfax County.
  • Influenza-like illness and respiratory illness hospital emergency department and selected pediatric urgent care visits.
  • Selected laboratory data.

This information is used to:

  • Determine outbreaks.
  • Track patterns of illnesses.
  • To measure illness impact.

See VDH weekly surveillance reports.

For information about national flu surveillance, go to CDC's Flu Activity & Surveillance web page.

Educational Materials

Download these educational materials for your home, work, faith community and elsewhere.

It's Flu Season

It's Flu Season

Translations: Spanish

Fairfax Virtual Assistant