Flue season is upon us, and, as such, we must take as many preventative steps as possible to avoid contracting or spreading this virus. One very important step is staying informed. Following are some facts and resources that will help keep influenza in check.
(Note: The source of this info mostly comes from is mostly from Centers for Disease Control website. www.cdc.gov. Please check with our physician for more information.)
- 2017-2018 was a high severity, H3N2-predominant season.
- Flu activity in the U.S. is low now, but expected to pick up in the Fall.
CDC on Flu Vaccine:
- CDC’s vaccine recommendations for the 2018-2019 flu season are now available.
- CDC recommends yearly flu vaccination for people 6 months and older.
- Get vaccinated by the end of October.
In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. The peak of flu season has occurred anywhere from late November through March.
- A yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
- Using antiviral drugs to treat flu illness if prescribed by your doctor.
Influenza (also known as flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
A Few Other Facts About Influenza:
Heart Attacks are Increased the Week after Flu.
A report in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the risk for heart attacks is elevated the first week after being diagnosed with influenza.
Keep Doing the Basics:
- Avoid close contact when out in the community
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Clean your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Stop smoking
- Continue your careful surveillance of students and visitors
If you get sick with flu, antiviral drugs may be a treatment option.
Check with your doctor promptly if you are at high risk of serious flu complications and you get flu symptoms. People at high risk of flu complications include young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.
When used for treatment, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. They also can prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia. For people at high risk of serious flu complications, treatment with antiviral drugs can mean the difference between milder or more serious illness possibly resulting in a hospital stay.