Whereas folks with gentle flu instances might downplay the severity or mistake it for a chilly, in some instances, the flu may be much more critical than the frequent chilly. Each ailments are contagious and attributable to viruses, however flu signs may be extra intense and sudden, resulting in extra critical issues together with pneumonia in some instances.
Younger youngsters, older adults, and other people with continual situations are most liable to issues from the flu. Under, Brian Nguyen, DO, a pediatrician with Dignity Health Woodland Clinic solutions some frequent questions on flu season.
“With youngsters returning to high school and COVID-19 nonetheless current in our communities, it’s crucial to take steps to guard your respiratory system,” stated Dr. Nguyen. “Begin by asking your physician about vaccines and adopting easy flu prevention habits to remain wholesome.”
How properly do flu vaccines work?
The seasonal flu is mostly attributable to influenza A and B viruses. These viruses can mutate, resulting in totally different strains annually. Consider these mutations as disguises the viruses use to evade our immune programs. Nevertheless, the excellent news is that vaccines are repeatedly up to date to replicate the circulating flu strains. So, how efficient are these vaccines? Throughout seasons when flu vaccine viruses are just like circulating flu viruses, the vaccine can cut back the chance by 40 to 60%. Vaccinating towards the flu can even cut back your danger of being hospitalized or significantly sick. In a 2022 examine, flu vaccination diminished youngsters’s danger of extreme life-threatening influenza by 75%.
When is one of the best time to obtain the flu shot?
For optimum safety, one of the best time to obtain your vaccine is early in flu season, earlier than the flu begins spreading in your neighborhood. Attempt getting your flu shot as quickly because it’s accessible in your supplier’s workplace or neighborhood pharmacy–normally between September and October. In the event you miss the autumn deadline, all is just not misplaced. Plan to get it as quickly as potential earlier than the flu peaks, normally in February.
What are the downsides to getting the flu shot?
Like several drug, vaccines have advantages and dangers. In nearly all instances, the flu vaccine’s advantages outweigh the potential dangers. Frequent uncomfortable side effects embrace soreness, redness, complications, fever, nausea, and muscle aches. These are sometimes momentary and go away on their very own. Life-threatening allergic reactions to the flu shot are uncommon, however you need to all the time search for uncommon signs after any vaccine. Whereas some people might get away in hives or have bother respiratory inside a couple of minutes to hours after receiving the vaccine, these uncomfortable side effects are unusual.
Can the flu shot give me the flu?
No, the flu vaccine can’t provide the flu or make you sick. Often, you could really feel fatigued, below the climate, or expertise different gentle uncomfortable side effects, however these sometimes go away on their very own inside 24-48 hours. It is usually potential to contract the flu earlier than the vaccine turns into totally efficient, normally two weeks after vaccination. An important factor to recollect is that the flu vaccine is your finest safety throughout flu season. It’s really helpful for everybody 6 months or older. It is usually essential for pregnant folks to get the vaccine in order that the newborn is protected as much as 6 months of age. Discuss to your physician when you have a historical past of allergic reactions to vaccines or have issues about different uncomfortable side effects.
What month is the flu season worst, and the way lengthy does the seasonal flu final?
The flu historically peaks from December by February and may proceed into Could. It’s smart to get the flu vaccine as quickly because it’s accessible in your neighborhood and earlier than the chilly winter months, when most individuals spend extra time indoors or in high-traffic locations like trains and airports.
What else can I do to stop the flu?
Hand hygiene and different wholesome habits may also help repel micro organism and viruses throughout flu season. Keep in mind to cowl your coughs, keep away from sharing utensils, and keep house when you have a fever. You may also strive other ways to spice up your immune system, beginning with getting sufficient sleep, consuming properly, and exercising repeatedly. It is essential to drink water, even should you do not feel thirsty, and keep away from tobacco or stop smoking, as smoking can enhance the chance of respiratory infections.
The flu is a seasonal respiratory an infection that comes round yearly. Whereas some folks with the flu get well on their very own, it may result in critical issues. Getting the flu vaccine yearly is one of the simplest ways to decrease your likelihood of getting sick with the flu and spreading it to others. The very best time to get the flu shot is as quickly because it’s accessible in your neighborhood and earlier than temperatures start to drop, which normally drives folks indoors. There are several types of flu pictures, together with some particularly for folks 65 and older. Seek the advice of your doctor or superior apply supplier (APP) about which one is best for you.
Flu Consumer Patient Flyer (cdc.gov)
Cold Versus Flu | CDC
Flu Symptoms & Complications | CDC
Seasonal Flu Vaccines | CDC
Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions: 2022-2023 Season | CDC
Flu: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
Flu Shot | Flu | Influenza | MedlinePlus