What To Do If You Feel The Flu Coming On – Influenza (also called influenza) is an infectious respiratory disease caused by an influenza virus that infects the nose, throat and lungs. The flu is different from a cold and usually comes on suddenly. Each year, the influenza virus causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths in the United States. The flu can be very dangerous for children. The CDC estimates that between 6,000 and 26,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized each year in the United States because of the flu. The flu vaccine is safe and helps protect children from the flu.
Flu illness can range from mild to severe, but children often need treatment for the flu. Children under the age of 5 and children of any age with certain long-term health problems are at increased risk for complications from the flu, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis and otitis media. Some health problems known to make children more susceptible to the flu include asthma, diabetes, and brain or nervous system disorders.
What To Do If You Feel The Flu Coming On
The flu virus is thought to be spread mainly through droplets released when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can fall into the mouths or noses of nearby people. You can also get the flu if you touch an object that has the flu virus on it and then touch your mouth, eyes or nose.
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Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults). Some people with the flu do not have a fever.
The first and best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine for yourself and your children every year. § The flu vaccination is recommended every year for all people 6 months of age and older. Both the flu shot and the nasal spray flu vaccine are vaccination options.
The flu vaccine is made with strict safety and production measures. Millions of people have been safely vaccinated against the flu for decades. Both the flu shot and the nasal spray flu vaccine are vaccination options. Different types of flu vaccines are licensed based on age. Each person should receive an age-appropriate one. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend an annual flu vaccine for all children 6 months and older.
These routine actions can help reduce your chances of getting sick and help prevent the spread of germs to others when you do. However, getting the flu vaccine every year is the best way to prevent flu illness.
Cold Or Flu? (infographic)
If you are concerned about your child’s illness, talk to your doctor early. Make sure your child gets enough rest and drinks plenty of fluids. If your child is 5 years or older, has no long-term health problems, and has flu symptoms, including fever and/or cough, see a doctor as needed. Children under the age of 5, especially those under the age of 2, and children with certain long-term health problems (including asthma, diabetes, and brain or nervous system disorders) are at increased risk for serious flu complications. Call your doctor right away if you have flu symptoms or take your child to a doctor.
Even healthy children can get the flu. Your child should go to the emergency room when the following emergency warning signs appear:
This list is not all-inclusive. For other symptoms that are serious or worrisome, talk to your healthcare provider.
Yes. Antiviral drugs are prescription drugs that can be used to treat flu illnesses. They can shorten and make the disease milder and prevent serious complications that can lead to hospitalization. Antiviral drugs work best when started during the first two days after onset. Antiviral drugs are recommended to treat the flu in people who are very sick (such as those in the hospital) or who are at high risk for serious flu complications with flu symptoms. Antiviral drugs can be given to children and pregnant women.
How Long Is The Flu Contagious?
A person with flu can infect others from 1 day before onset until up to 5-7 days after onset. Seriously ill people or young children can spread the flu for longer, especially if they still have symptoms.
No. Children should stay at home and prevent the flu from spreading to other children or caregivers.
Leave your child home from school, daycare or camp for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. (The fever must be gone without the use of an antipyretic.) Fever is defined as 100°F (37.8°C)* or higher.
*Many authorities use 100 (37.8 degrees Celsius) or 100.4 F (38.0 degrees Celsius) as the standard for fever, but this number can vary depending on factors such as the method of measurement and the person’s age. Hot summer days begin to cloud over, the air begins to cool and the myths surrounding flu vaccines begin to spread. “The most common statements we hear have to do with concerns about getting the flu shot and getting the flu and saying that patients are very healthy and don’t get the flu,” MD, Ph.D. Infectious Diseases of the Montefiore Health System.
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Another myth is that you don’t need to get vaccinated every year to stay vaccinated, flu vaccines aren’t very effective, and the flu isn’t that dangerous. All these misconceptions swirl around, despite an estimated 359,000 US deaths from the flu between 2010 and 2020, with less than half of US adults being vaccinated each year.
It is common to experience some mild side effects from the flu vaccine, but serious reactions are very rare and it is impossible to get the flu from the vaccine. Here’s how to find out what to expect.
Mild symptoms such as low fever, headache and muscle aches are common after vaccination, but they are not the same as actually getting sick or getting the flu. “The flu vaccine does not contain a functional flu virus, and the injectable flu shot does not contain a live virus,” says Dr. Gendlina.
Instead, what happens when you experience these symptoms is to increase your immune system’s response to the flu vaccine as your body learns to fight the real virus. Mild symptoms after a flu shot indicate that your immune system is reacting to the vaccine. “It doesn’t hurt like you don’t get the flu. The vaccine will cause an immune reaction that can make you feel exhausted, but it’s not the flu and it’s not as bad as the flu,” explains Dr. Wexler.
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Some people experience very mild flu-like symptoms, such as low-grade fever, fatigue, muscle aches, stuffy nose, runny nose, sore throat, cough and generally fainting. According to dr. Gendlina these flu shot reactions are common and expected.
The flu shot itself varies from year to year, but the general side effects are relatively similar, and individual symptoms, such as body aches, may peak more often than in other years. Syncope is sometimes reported after a flu shot. (For this reason, it is recommended to sit for 15 minutes after vaccination and observe during vaccination.)
Finally, some people may experience vaccine side effects due to the nocebo effect, which occurs when side effects occur due to negative expectations for a treatment or drug. Studies have shown that if you are told that you may experience side effects, you may experience them even if you are treated with a placebo.
After getting the flu shot, it takes two weeks for full immunity to develop. If you get sick right after getting the vaccine, you have already been infected with the virus before your body has built up a defense against it. It wasn’t your flu shot that caused your illness, it was your accident.
I Have The Flu. Now What?
Vaccine effectiveness also varies from year to year. “The vaccine is based on predictions of the types of flu viruses that are expected to be common this year, and if those predictions are not completely accurate, the vaccine may be less protective than expected,” says Gendlina.
If you have a weakened immune system, are pregnant, or are over 65, your body may not have had a full immune response. These health conditions can make you more susceptible to infection, even if you are vaccinated. If you’ve been vaccinated, your immune system can still work to help fight the infection when you have the flu, resulting in a milder flu illness than if you weren’t vaccinated.
The flu vaccine is widely recommended for all people over the age of 6 months, but there are a small number of demographics that need special consideration, says Dr. Wexler. There are also certain populations in which one type of vaccine may be more suitable than another, so it is important to get medical advice about the option that is best for you. The most common considerations are:
Nasal spray flu
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