Is there any harm in getting a flu shot? Take the influenza quiz!


Feeling a little under the weather? Kind of achy? Do you have a fever? Are you tired? Do you have a headache? If so, you might have influenza, more commonly known as "the flu." Is getting a flu vaccine a good idea? Take the quiz to find out.

start quiz

Question 1 of 20

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the flu is most commonly spread through __________.

coughing and sneezing
food preparation

... Most flu is passed through droplets expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. The droplets can find their way into the mouths and noses of people in the vicinity, spreading the illness. It's less common to contract the flu by touching an object contaminated by a sick person.


Question 2 of 20

Injected flu vaccines contain __________.

dead viruses
living viruses
parts of viruses
weakened viruses

... Vaccines given as shots are produced from dead viruses. The newer, nasal-spray vaccines contain weakened live viruses, but the sprays can't give the flu to people who take them.


Question 3 of 20

Within any flu season, the seriousness of the illness depends upon the _________.

alignment between the annual vaccine and the actual viruses that appear
amount of flu vaccine available
types of flu viruses that are circulating
all of the above

... The severity of flu can vary widely from season to season, depending upon a number of questions. How much vaccine is available, and when can it go out to the public? What percentage of the population is getting vaccinated? Does the vaccine cover the viruses that actually show up in the environment?


Question 4 of 20

How long can a person be contagious with the flu BEFORE symptoms appear?

one day
three days
five days
one week

... People with the flu can pass along the virus a day before they themselves start showing symptoms. Once those warning signs develop, the flu can be spread for five to seven days.


Question 5 of 20

After receiving the vaccination, how long before enough antibodies have developed to protect against the flu?

a few days
one week
two weeks
one month

... It takes about two weeks after receiving a flu vaccination for the body's immune system to rally and produce enough antibodies to protect against the flu.


Question 6 of 20

The CDC recommends flu vaccinations for _________.

everyone older than 6 months
everyone older than 5 years
senior citizens

... A universal vaccination program is preferred; that means everyone over 6 months old should be protected. It's especially important for children under 5, adults over 65, pregnant women and people with certain conditions (e.g., asthma, heart disease, neurological disorders).


Question 7 of 20

Once you get the flu, is there anything that will shorten the duration of the illness?

Yes, there are over-the-counter medications that will speed up recovery.
Yes, there are prescription drugs that will speed up recovery.
There are both prescription and over-the counter medications that will speed up recovery.

... Over-the-counter medications can relieve some symptoms, but they cannot help you get better faster. However, your doctor can prescribe an antiviral drug to help you recover a day or two sooner. They are usually prescribed for people who are at risk of developing severe complications from the flu (e.g., people with weakened immune systems, lung conditions, blood disorders).


Question 8 of 20

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, how many people were killed by the flu pandemic of 1918 to 1919?

about 1 million people
about 10 million people
about 25 million people
about 50 million people

... The 50 million people killed by the Spanish flu of 1918 and 1919 outnumbered those killed during World War I or the Black Death of 1347-1351. For some reason, there was a high mortality rate among healthy adults.


Question 9 of 20

Why is "swine flu" (the H1N1 virus) named for pigs?

It was first seen in pig farmers.
It spreads through ingesting pork products.
It is similar to a virus in pigs.

... The H1N1 virus resembles a virus that affects pigs. The human virus caused a pandemic in 2009, spreading to 74 countries.


Question 10 of 20

How many types of flu viruses are there?

about 20
at least 100
It is not known.

... Of the three types of flu viruses (A, B, and C), only type C produces mild respiratory symptoms and doesn't offer the possibility of an epidemic. Types A and B are much more serious and have several subtypes or strains. Variations of A and B are included in the yearly vaccine.


Question 11 of 20

How common is a sudden and major change in a flu virus?

It is not known.
It can happen only with type A viruses.
It can happen with type A or type B viruses.
It can happen with any type of virus.

... Only the type A virus can undergo an "antigenic shift." This often results in a new subtype of type A virus, one that is so different from earlier viruses that most people haven't built up any immunity to it.


Question 12 of 20

The first case of bird flu (H5N1 virus) infecting a person was in __________.

Hong Kong

... Transmission of flu from bird to human was first seen in Hong Kong. The same virus has spread to birds in Africa, Asia and Europe. It can spread through contact with an infected bird or person and by consumption of under-cooked poultry.


Question 13 of 20

Canine influenza (dog flu) spread from ________ to dogs.


... In 2004, greyhounds were first diagnosed with an equine (horse) flu virus. It spread to other dogs and changed sufficiently to be considered a dog-specific virus. Most dogs experience mild versions of the illness.


Question 14 of 20

The CDC is partnering with the private sector to develop a/an ______ that could dispense flu vaccinations in the event of a pandemic.


... Under emergency circumstances such as a pandemic, a patch could be distributed and applied quickly to a large number of people, thus increasing the numbers that could be vaccinated in a timely manner. The patch is being tested on laboratory mice.


Question 15 of 20

When a flu virus enters the body, it attaches itself to cells in the respiratory tract and injects _______ into the cells' nuclei.


... The virus inserts its genetic information (RNA) into the nucleus of a cell; the RNA will copy itself (replicate) and eventually take over the cell. When the cell dies the viral copies are released to attack other cells.


Question 16 of 20

Which of the following can kill a flu virus?

hydrogen peroxide
pine oil
all of the above

... Flu viruses are susceptible to heat, chlorine, soap, alcohols, iodine antiseptics and hydrogen peroxide. The concentration needed and time required varies for each cleaning product.


Question 17 of 20

In 2009, The World Health Organization (WHO) identified the H1N1 flu (swine flu) as a pandemic because of the number of ________.

children who had contracted the virus
countries where the virus was found
people who had contracted the virus
people who had died from the virus

... In 2009, more than 70 countries had recorded cases of swine flu. The wide dispersal of the flu, not the severity of it, led the WHO to consider it a pandemic.


Question 18 of 20

How do researchers determine which flu viruses to vaccinate against each year?

Scientists predict which viruses will be most harmful.
There is a regular rotation of vaccines over a 10-year period.
Pharmaceutical companies decide which viruses they will cover.
The vaccine is the same from year to year.

... Based on the viruses that scientists around the world are seeing, researchers predict which ones will be most threatening for that year.


Question 19 of 20

How is the stomach flu related to influenza?

It is a more severe form of influenza.
It is a milder form of influenza.
The same virus attacks a different body part.
The two are not related.

... The "stomach flu" is a common term for a stomach ailment that is unrelated to the virus that causes influenza. Stomach or intestinal distress is rarely seen in cases of influenza.


Question 20 of 20

Worldwide, how many people are killed by the flu each year?

about 750,000
1 to 1.5 million
about 2 million

... According to the World Health Organization, up to half a million people around the world die from the flu each year. U.S. deaths number about 36,000 annually.


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