It’s Flu Season

It’s flu season again, and in addition to being nasty all on its own, the flu can complicate lung health.  Here’s some information you might need to know.

Influenza (flu) is a contagious illness caused by a virus. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu can result in hospitalization or death. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year for flu-related complications. Flu infections are associated with thousands of death every year in the United States. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Signs and Symptoms of flu

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue (feeling tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

Flu Vaccine Options

  • Standard dose trivalent shot-People ages 18 through 64 years of age
  • High dose trivalent shot-People older than 65 years of age
  • Standard does that is egg free-For people with an egg allergy
  • Intradermal quadrivalent shot-Uses a smaller needle for people ages 18 through 64 years of age
  • Quadivalent nasal spray-For people ages 2 through 49 years of age (not pregnant)

Who should be vaccinated?

  • Everyone ages 6 months and older.

Can the flu shot give me the flu?

No, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine). The most common side effects from the influenza shot are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. Low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches also may occur.

In Virginia

Flu season started in September with the Health Department reporting positive flu cultures.

FROM: & Va. Department of Health-A seasonal Update (10-13-2015)

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