Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine
The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:
- at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
- capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19
The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.
People At Higher Risk From Flu
Anyone can get sick with flu, even healthy people, and serious problems related to flu can happen to anyone at any age, but some people are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions , pregnant people and children younger than 5 years, but especially those younger than 2 years old.
Who Should Get An Influenza Vaccine
- Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a yearly influenza vaccination with rare exception.
- Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of serious illness from influenza and those able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk.
- Influenza vaccination is free for everyone six months and older in BC for the 2021-2022 influenza season.
- In BC, influenza vaccines are usually available in October. For your best protection, get immunized as soon as possible.
- The influenza vaccine is your best defense against influenza.
- There are two main types of influenza vaccines, the inactivated influenza vaccine, and the live attenuated influenza vaccine.
- Several different types of inactivated influenza vaccines and one type of live attenuated influenza vaccine are available in BC.
- The vaccines protect against either 3 strains of influenza or 4 strains of influenza .
- Your health care provider can tell you which vaccine is recommended for you.
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What’s The Difference Between A Cold And Flu
The common cold and flu are both contagious viral infections of the respiratory tract. Although the symptoms can be similar, flu is much worse. A cold may drag you down a bit, but the flu can make you shudder at the very thought of getting out of bed.
Congestion, sore throat, and sneezing are common with colds. Both cold and flu may bring coughing , headache, and chest discomfort. With the flu, though, you are likely to run a high fever for several days and have body aches, fatigue, and weakness. Symptoms of the flu also tend to come on abruptly. Usually, complications from colds are relatively minor, but a case of flu can lead to a life-threatening illness such as pneumonia.
More than 100 types of cold viruses are known, and new strains of flu evolve every few years. Since both diseases are viral, antibiotics cannot conquer cold or flu. Remember: Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections.
Four antiviral medications are available to treat flu. But there are no medications that specifically defeat the common cold. Antibiotics may be helpful only if there is a secondary bacterial infection.
For in-depth information, see WebMD’s Flu Treatment.
The Flu Shot Is Your Best Defence
This years flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19. Dont take any unnecessary risks with your health. Get the flu shot as early in the season as possible.
The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months old and older. It is:
- available from your doctor or nurse practitioner, and at participating pharmacies and local public health units across the province
- proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu
- different each year because the virus changes frequently so you need to get it every fall
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Tomato Flu The Rare Viral Infection:
It is important to note that the rare viral infection, which got its name on the basis of the eruption of red and painful blisters throughout the body that gradually enlarges to the size of a tomato, is currently in an “endemic state,” according to the PTI report. While the study explained that even though considered the infection is considered to be non-life-threatening, a vigilant management is desirable to prevent further outbreaks, especially on the back of the dreadful experience of the Covid-19 pandemic.
What Are The Treatments For The Flu
Most people with the flu recover on their own without medical care. People with mild cases of the flu should stay home and avoid contact with others, except to get medical care.
But if you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider. You might need antiviral medicines to treat your flu. Antiviral medicines can make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They also can prevent serious flu complications. They usually work best when you start taking them within 2 days of getting sick.
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Attention Was Drawn To The Condition Which Has Been Intermittently Reported From Kerala Earlier After A Correspondence Was Published In The Journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine Recently
With cases of tomato flu reported from at least four states Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, and Odisha the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday issued a set of guidelines on prevention, testing, and treatment of the infection.
Attention was drawn to the condition, which has been intermittently reported from Kerala earlier, after a correspondence was published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine recently. Researchers believe that it is a different clinical presentation of hand-foot-and mouth disease caused by a group of enteroviruses .
So, what is tomato flu?
Tomato flu or tomato fever is characterised by fever, joint pain, and red, tomato-like rashes usually seen in children below the age of five years. This is accompanied by other symptoms of viral fevers such as diarrhoea, dehydration, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue.
Tomato flu could be an after-effect of chikungunya or dengue fever in children rather than a viral infection. It could also be a new variant of the viral hand, foot, and mouth disease, a common infectious disease targeting mostly children aged 15 years and immunocompromised adults, the recent correspondence in The Lancet read.
Dr Ekta Gupta, professor of virology at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, said, HFMD is not a new infection, we have read about it in our textbooks. It is reported from time to time across the country, but it is not very common.
Why is the infection spreading now?
How can the infection be prevented?
How To Get Immunized Safely
- Book an appointment using the new centralized vaccine booking tool at bookvaccine.alberta.ca.
- Phone Health Link at 811 to receive help in booking one or multiple vaccination appointments for family members and children.
- Contact your local pharmacist to inquire about opportunities to drop in for your vaccination.
- Contact your local physician to make an appointment.
- Arrive as close to the appointment time as you can.
- Stay home if you have symptoms of COVID-19, isolate and complete the AHS online assessment.
- Follow safety protocols: wear a mask, wash your hands, stay 2 metres apart when possible.
- Fill out forms online when possible.
Staff and volunteers at clinics and venues offering influenza immunization must follow their employers’ policies for COVID-19 screening.
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Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- you’re worried about your baby’s or child’s symptoms
- you’re 65 or over
- you’re pregnant
- you have a long-term medical condition for example, diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
- you have a weakened immune system for example, because of chemotherapy or HIV
- your symptoms do not improve after 7 days
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.
What Is The Home Treatment
If you get sick with influenza, home treatment can help ease symptoms. Follow the self-care advice below:
- Get plenty of rest and stay home from work, school, daycare and running errands when you are sick
- Drink extra fluids to replace those lost from fever
- Avoid smoking and ask others not to smoke in the house
- Breathe moist air from a hot shower or from a sink filled with hot water to help clear a stuffy nose
- Anti-influenza drugs or antivirals are available by prescription, but these must be started within 48 hours of the start of your symptoms to work best. These will shorten symptoms by about 3 days if given within 12 hours and by about 1.5 days if given within 2 days of the start of symptoms
- Non-prescription cough and cold medications are available for relief of influenza symptoms but are not recommended for children under 6 years old
*Ibuprofen should not be given to children under 6 months of age without first speaking to your health care provider.
For more information on Reye Syndrome, see HealthLinkBC File #84 Reye Syndrome.
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Difference Between Influenza And Covid
and the flu can be similar.
If you are unwell with flu-like symptoms, contact the COVID-19 hotline on or your GP to check if you require COVID-19 testing.
The symptoms of COVID-19 to watch out for are:
- loss or changein sense of smell or taste
Check If You Have Flu
Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:
- a sudden high temperature of 38C or above
- an aching body
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- feeling sick and being sick
The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.
Cold and flu symptoms are similar, but flu tends to be more severe.
|Appears quickly within a few hours||Appears gradually|
|Affects more than just your nose and throat||Affects mainly your nose and throat|
|Makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal||Makes you feel unwell, but you’re OK to carry on as normal|
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What You Can Do
Washing your hands is more important than ever.
Find out more about the symptoms of the flu and what you can do to lower your risk by consulting the following resources:
- The Flu – a short, easy-to-read factsheet which provides tips to help you prevent the flu.
These fact sheets provide information on why it is important to wash your hands, as well as tips on when and how you should do it.
What Is The Difference Between A Cold And Flu
Influenza and the common cold are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Flu is caused by influenza viruses only, whereas the common cold can be caused by a number of different viruses, including rhinoviruses, parainfluenza, and seasonal coronaviruses.Seasonal coronaviruses should not be confused with SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Because flu and the common cold have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are typically more intense and begin more abruptly. Colds are usually milder than flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose than people who have flu. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. Flu can have serious associated complications.
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But Even If You Dont Get Your Flu Shot Right Away Its Still Important To Get Your Shot Eventually
Say you dont get it in September. Johansson then suggested that you aim for at least the end of October. But overall: Any time is a good time to get your flu shot rather than not getting it at all.
While earlier in the season may be preferable, if you have the opportunity to get it in December, get it. Either way, youre adding to your communitys flu protection and looking out for yourself, too.
What Should You Know About Seasonal Flu This Year
Watch as Dr. Mayrene Hernandez, Medical Director for UnitedHealthcare, answers some common questions about the upcoming flu season.
Its important to get the flu shot every year. The flu shot protects you against the flu virus.
It can help you prevent a hospitalization or complications of actually getting the flu.
It is very easy to find a local pharmacy or your providers office. Its offered in multiple, multiple locations.
Not only that, its also covered at 100% in most plans.
Who should get the flu shot? Everyone above the age of six months or older. Adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, or those with chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, coronary artery disease, or renal disease. But you should also get it even if youre healthy.
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Find A Flu Shot Location Near You
If you have a UnitedHealthcare health plan, you can get a flu shot at more than 50,000 locations.
Enter your ZIP code and select a pharmacy in your area, then select Find my flu shot to see results within a 20-mile radius from the center of your ZIP code.
Please note: If you’re using a screen reader, please select Participating pharmacies, then select a pharmacy to find a location near you.
When Does Flu Season Begin End And Peak
The exact timing of when flu season begins and ends depends on where you live, Alicia Budd, MPH, an epidemiologist in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza division, told Health.
In the U.S., flu activity generally begins to increase in October, and can last until May.
“The watches flu activity year-round, and when certain key indicators increase beyond a certain point, the season is said to have begun,” Budd said.
The timing of flu season in the U.S.during the fall and winter months, and lasting until springis largely due to the lower temperatures. According to Tania Mucci-Elliott, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at NYU Langone Health, flu viruses can remain intact and spread faster when it’s cooler outside.
“The flu thrives in colder weather so you will see it hit in areas of the country that have shorter summers and longer winters,” Mucci-Elliott said.
The flu, along with other viruses, also tend to thrive during the winter months because people remain indoors for longer periods of time, allowing viruses to pass more easily between hosts.
Flu season can also have peaks of activitythe CDC determines this by looking at the month during flu season with the highest percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for influenza.
According to data collected by the CDC, flu season most often peaks in February, but it has also commonly peaked in December, January, and March.
The Flu Shot Is Effective
The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from season to season. It depends on:
- how well the vaccine matches with the circulating flu viruses
- the health and age of the person getting the flu shot
The viruses circulating in the population can sometimes change during the time it takes to produce a vaccine. When this happens during the flu season, the flu shot may not work as well as expected.
It’s also important to remember that the flu shot protects against several different flu viruses each season. The seasonal flu shot can still provide protection against the remaining 2 or 3 viruses, even when theres:
- a less-than-ideal match
- lower effectiveness against one virus
If you do get the flu, the flu shot may reduce the severity of flu-related complications.
Getting your flu shot is still the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu and flu-related complications.
How Is The Flu Treated
Most kids with flu get better at home. Make sure your child:
- drinks lots of liquids to prevent dehydration
- gets plenty of sleep and takes it easy
- takes acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve fever and aches. Don’t give kids or teens aspirin because of its link to Reye syndrome.
- wears layers that are easy to remove. Kids might feel cold one minute and hot the next.
Children with the flu should stay home from school and childcare until they feel better. They should go back only when they haven’t had a fever for at least 24 hours without using a fever-reducing medicine. Some kids need to stay home longer. Ask the doctor what’s best for your child.
Doctors may prescribe antiviral medicine for a very ill child or kids are at risk for more serious symptoms. The medicine can shorten the flu by 12 days. It works best if children start taking it within 48 hours of the start of the flu. If a doctor prescribes antiviral medicine for your child, ask about any possible side effects. Doctors won’t prescribe antibiotics for the flu. Antibiotics work only against bacteria, not viruses.
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