The flu is a disease that's easily spread between people. When you have body aches, a fever, and a sore throat, you probably have the flu.
The word flu is shorthand for "influenza," the official name of this infectious, viral illness. It's not unusual to get the flu, especially in the winter, and while it usually isn't serious, it can be deadly for some groups of people. Your chances of getting the flu are greatly reduced if you get a flu shot. The Italian root influenza means "influenza" or "epidemic," but also "visitation" or "influence of the stars."