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When Does Flu Season End?

Longer than you think

Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock

Trying to navigate flu season is tricky. You wash your hands like crazy, avoid sick people at all costs and even steal some ideas from the healthiest people around you

But how long do you actually have to worry about it?

According to the CDC, influenza viruses circulate year-round, but when flu season peaks varies. It’s most commonly at its height in February.

In the U.S., even though the flu season occurs in fall and winter, flu “activity” can last as late as May, which means the dreaded virus actually spans three different seasons — fall, winter and spring. So don't put the Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer away just as the weather gets warmer.

The CDC says the flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent the virus, but there are everyday things you can do, too. It’s important to maintain good health habits like washing your hands often, avoiding contact with your eyes, mouth and nose (especially with unwashed hands), and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water.


Your doctor will likely run a test to confirm you have the virus before proceeding with a treatment plan. Here's how to tell if your sniffles are more than just a cold.