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You get influenza from droplets of influenza virus in the air, caused by someone else with influenza coughing or sneezing or by direct contact.
Inhalation of as few as three infective particles can transmit the infection, so you can catch influenza just by standing next to someone with influenza on the bus. The virus makes its way down to your respiratory tract and starts attacking the protective cells of the respiratory tract.
As with common bacterial infections, young children are the most likely both to be infected and to spread influenza. When the influenza A virus is introduced into a family, 56% of households had at least 1 secondary case.