What Should I Do If I Think I Am Sick With Flu
If you get sick with flu, antiviral drugs are a treatment option. Check with your doctor promptly if you are at higher risk of serious flu complications and you develop flu symptoms. Flu signs and symptoms can include feeling feverish or having a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat your flu illness.
When To Get The Influenza Vaccine
Yearly vaccination before the onset of each flu season is recommended. In most parts of Australia, flu season occurs from June to September, with the flu vaccine typically available from April.
Recent evidence suggests optimal protection against the flu occurs within the first 3-4 months following vaccination. It is important to note that, while the influenza virus continues to circulate, it is never too late to vaccinate.
Flu Vaccine For Frontline Health And Social Care Workers
If you’re a frontline health and social care worker, your employer should offer you a flu vaccine. They may give the vaccine at your workplace.
You can also have an NHS flu vaccine at a GP surgery or a pharmacy if:
- you’re a health or social care worker employed by a registered residential care or nursing home, registered homecare organisation or a hospice
- you work in NHS primary care and have direct contact with patients this includes contractors, non-clinical staff and locums
- you provide health or social care through direct payments or personal health budgets, or both
Don’t Miss: Flu Vaccine For Seniors Over 65
Can Vaccinations Be Administered To People Taking Stelara
Prior to starting treatment with Stelara, patients should receive all their appropriate immunizations for their age as recommended by National guidelines. It is important people administered Stelara DO NOT receive live vaccines. This includes:
- BCG vaccine for tuberculosis. This should not be given during treatment or within ONE YEAR of initiating or discontinuing Stelara
- Measles, mumps rubella vaccine
- Varicella vaccine.
Caution should also be exercised when administering live vaccines to close contacts of people taking Stelara as viral shedding and subsequent transmission of the virus to Stelara patients may occur.
In addition, non-live vaccines that are administered during treatment with Stelara may not initiate an immune response that is sufficient to prevent disease.
However, a yearly flu vaccine is currently recommended for people administered Stelara. A trial is currently underway investigating how the immune response is affected to vaccines in people taking biologics.
Talking To Your Doctor
The bottom line? You need to talk to your doctor. Every patient has different symptoms, needs, and medical histories. Only your doctor can give can tell you if its a good time to get your flu shot. They can also check your overall health and give you other tips for staying healthy during cold and flu season.
Don’t Miss: Different Kinds Of Flu Vaccine
How Do Antibiotics Fight Infections
Antibiotics are common medications, but they are also sophisticated weapons that kill or stun bacteria in your body. There are a number of different types, and they work in a variety of ways against different types of bacteria.
Its important to know that antibiotics work by killing bacteria, so theyre effective only when you have an infection caused by bacteria in your body. This is different from vaccines, which can shield you from infections caused by bacteria or viruses that you might encounter in the future.
Some antibiotics directly kill bacteria. These are called bactericidal antibiotics. Other antibiotics are bacteriostatic. This means that they slow bacteria down, giving your immune system time to catch up. Either way, antibiotics can stop a bacterial infection from spreading.
Because antibiotics attack bacteria that are living in your body, theyre most effective when youre already sick with an infection.
What about antiseptics?
Antiseptics are different from antibiotics because they arent targeted weapons. Instead, they are harsh chemicals that kill just about everything. Antiseptics are helpful for cleaning surfaces, because they can kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites but they also harm living cells. For that reason, antiseptics cant be taken as medication.
When You Shouldn’t Get A Flu Jab
You should delay a flu vaccine if you’re feeling unwell.
If youve recently had COVID-19 you can have a flu jab as soon as youve recovered.
It’s also important to talk to your health professional before getting the vaccineif you:
- have had Guillain-Barre syndrome
- have had an allergic reaction to a vaccination before.
Also Check: Cvs Flu Shot Santa Fe Nm
How Are Infections Treated While On Biologics
- Nose or throat infections affect 1 in 10 people
- Chest infections may affect 1 in 100 people
- Cellulitis may affect 1 in 100 people
- Shingles may infect 1 in 100 people.
Always monitor yourself for symptoms that suggest an infection, such as:
- Burning when urinating
- Red, painful, blistered, or swollen skin
- Sweats or chills.
Your doctor may consider temporarily stopping Stelara administration until the infection has resolved or has been treated.
However, in some situations, discontinuing Stelara may not be feasible and may inadvertently result in a longer course of treatment for a particular infection. This is because:
- Biologics, such as Stelara typically have long half-lives and there may be a delay from the time of discontinuation to the time of immune function recovery
- Discontinuing immunosuppressive therapy, such as Stelara might result in immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. This is a condition caused by the immune system overeating to the previously unrecognized antigens because it was suppressed.
Many doctors just proceed with biologic therapy during an infection and treat the infection with the appropriate medication, for example antibiotics if it is bacterial, or antivirals if it is a viral infection. Corticosteroids may also be administered.
You Already Got Your Shot For The Year
The CDC recommends that you get your flu shot by the end of October so you’re prepared for the start of flu season. However, if you don’t get your flu vaccination within this timeframe, it’s not too late. Dr. Monique May, MD, advises, “Since it takes about 2 weeks for the flu shot to take effect, the latest I would recommend would be February to March.”
Keep in mind, you only need to get one flu vaccine annually. If you have already obtained your flu shot, you won’t need to get it again until next year. Once the vaccine is in your system, another shot won’t increase your immunity to the illness.
Also Check: Is It Safe To Get Flu Shot While Breastfeeding
Children Between Six Months And Eight Years Old Need Something Else
If your child is between six months and eight years old, he or she doesn’t need one regular flu vaccine but may need two doses of the flu shot. Children in this age bracket are more susceptible to experiencing complications from the flu and one single dose of the vaccine may not be enough to build their immunity for flu season. The CDC warns, “Children 2 years of age up to their 5th birthday are more likely than healthy older children to be taken to a doctor, an urgent care center, or the emergency room because of the flu.”
Children within this age bracket who are being vaccinated for the first time or who had only one flu shot last season should get two doses of the vaccine. The CDC recommends obtaining the second dose at least 28 days after the first dose has been given. The first dose primes the child’s immune system while the second dose provides immune protection for the season. Since this process takes longer and the flu shot doesn’t begin protecting against the illness until two weeks after it’s administered, take your child in early. Consider getting your child’s first flu shot as soon as the vaccines become available for the season.
Which Antivirals Does The Cdc Recommend
The CDC recommends baloxavir marboxil , oseltamivir , peramivir , and zanamivir for flu. They are most effective when given within 48 hours after symptoms start to appear. These flu drugs can decrease the duration of the flu by one to two days if used within this early time period. Oseltamivir , and zanamivir are usually given for a period of five days to treat the flu. For flu prevention, they are typically used for at least 7 days. In some cases, antivirals may be given for longer periods of time. For prevention of flu, antiviral drugs may be given for at least 7 days. In some cases, antivirals may be given for longer periods of time.
Oseltamivir is approved for treatment in those over 2 weeks of age and for prevention in people ages 3 months and older.
Peramivir, given in one intravenous dose, is approved for people ages 2 and older.
Zanamivir, an inhaled medication, is approved for treatment of people ages 7 and older and for prevention in people ages 5 and older.
Read Also: Flu Shot While On Antibiotics
What Are Flu Antiviral Drugs
Flu antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that fight against flu viruses in your body. Antiviral drugs are not sold over the counter. You can only get them if you have a prescription from a health care provider. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections.
What Is The Flu Vaccine
The influenza vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by the influenza virus. The flu can cause serious illness, especially in young children, older adults and people with chronic health problems, but anyone can become seriously ill from the flu virus. Even if you are not feeling sick, you could still be infected with the flu virus and pass it on to others. Read more about the flu.Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection and reduce the seriousness of illness if you become infected. If you do get the flu after being vaccinated, you usually get a mild form of it, recover faster and are less likely to have serious complications.
Being vaccinated causes your body to produce antibodies against the flu virus. This means your body can respond faster and more effectively to the flu. By coming across a non-infectious version of the virus in the vaccine first, it learns to recognise it. When it comes across it again, your body can react much faster and in a more effective way.
Don’t Miss: Flu Shot Necessary Or Not
When To Seek Medical Care
These are the emergency warning signs of flu sickness.
- fast breathing or trouble breathing
- bluish lips or face
- ribs pulling in with each breath
- chest pain
- severe muscle pain
- not alert or interacting when awake
- in children less than 12 weeks old, any fever
- fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
- worsening of chronic medical conditions
These are not all of the possible emergency warning signs of flu. Contact your doctor about any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should obtain medical care right away.
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse
- fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
- worsening of chronic medical conditions
If you have symptoms of flu and are in a high-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your doctor.
High-risk groups include:
- adults 65 years and older
- anyone with these conditions:
How Effective Is The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine gives the best protection against flu.
Flu vaccines help protect against the main types of flu viruses, although there’s still a chance you might get flu.
If you do get flu after vaccination, it’s likely to be milder and not last as long.
Having the flu vaccine will also reduce the chance of you spreading flu to other people who may be more at risk of serious problems from flu.
It can take 10 to 14 days for the flu vaccine to work.
Don’t Miss: How Long For Flu Symptoms To Appear
Allergic Reactions To The Flu Vaccine
It’s very rare for anyone to have a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine. If this does happen, it usually happens within minutes.
The person who vaccinates you will be trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
Anyone can report a suspected side effect of a vaccine through the Yellow Card Scheme.
A Closer Look At How Antibiotics Influence Immune Response
This research shows that disrupting the microbiome in some individuals had a measurable effect on vaccine responses, Dr. Embry says, but much more work is needed to understand if and how the normal use of antibiotics will affect influenza vaccine response.
The research team, led by Bali Pulendran, PhD, a professor of pathology and of microbiology and immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, examined 22 volunteers during the 201415 flu season and 11 participants during the 201516 flu season. They ranged in age from 18 to 45.
Half the individuals in each group received a five-day broad-spectrum regimen of antibiotics before getting their flu shot. The antibiotic mix consisted of neomycin, vancomycin, and metronidazole.
Vancomycin and metronidazole are commonly prescribed for gastrointestinal infections such as Clostridium difficile . Neomycin is an antibiotic used not only to reduce the risk of infection during intestinal surgery but also to treat skin infections.
Also Check: Flu Like Symptoms After Vaccine
Who Should Get Immunised Against Influenza
Everyone who is able to be vaccinated, should be vaccinated against the flu, every year.
Yearly flu vaccination is provided free through the National Immunisation Program for most people in the community who are at an increased risk of serious complications.
In Victoria, flu vaccination is free for:
- children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months and over
- pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- people 65 years and over.
- people aged six months and older with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and its complications:
- cardiac disease
- children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
People not eligible for free flu vaccination under the National Immunisation Program can purchase the flu vaccine from their immunisation provider.
Managing Side Effects After Immunisation
Common side effects following immunisation are usually mild and temporary . Specific treatment is not usually required. There are several treatment options that can reduce the side effects of the vaccine including:
- Drinking extra fluids and not overdressing if there is a fever.
- Although routine use of paracetamol after vaccination is not recommended, if pain and fever are present, paracetamol can be given check the label for the correct dose or speak with your pharmacist .
Recommended Reading: Who Can Give Flu Shots
How Does Stelara Work
Stelara is a monoclonal antibody. Monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that act like human antibodies in the immune system. They are a type of targeted treatment. Targeted treatments attach only to specific proteins in the body.
Stelara binds to the p40 protein subunit that is used by two cytokines, IL-12 and IL-23. Cytokines are signaling substances that help control immunity, inflammation, and the manufacture of blood cells. By binding to this protein, Stelara disrupts the interaction of these two cytokines which have been identified as being important contributors to chronic inflammation that is a hallmark of Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. These cytokines are also present in skin lesions associated with psoriasis and in the joints of people with psoriatic arthritis.
How You Can Help Fight Superbugs
The good news is that were making progress in the battle against superbugs. Aetna is working to educate doctors about the dangers of overprescribing antibiotics for common complaints like acute bronchitis, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state Departments of Health. In 2018, the program reduced unnecessary prescriptions by 16%. In 2019, the initiative will be expanding to additional states.
But we need your help. You can fight the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs by asking the right questions and taking your medication as directed. If your doctor offers to prescribe you antibiotics, ask if theyre really necessary. Doctors may think people are coming to them for antibiotics, Dr. Knecht says. Asking doctors if antibiotics are needed lets them know that youre there for the right treatment, whatever that is. And if you do need antibiotics for a bacterial illness, dont skip doses and do take all the pills prescribed to you, even after you feel better. And dont share antibiotics with others.
Imagine a world where you dont know if antibiotics will work, Dr. Knecht urges. Many people dont recognize how important they are. We need to elevate their status and preserve this precious resource.
Recommended Reading: Does Orange Juice Help With The Flu
Antibiotics Vaccines And Covid
Lets say its time for your vaccine, but youre already on antibiotics for a different infection. Its reasonable to wonder whether your immune system is up to the challenge of building vaccine-related immune defenses while youre fighting an infection with antibiotics. But dont worry: Youve got this.
Who Should Get The Flu Vaccine
Anyone over the age of 6 months can have the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is free for these people, who are considered to be at greater risk of complications from the flu:
- Mori communities and Pacific peoples aged 55 to 64 years
- pregnant people
- people aged 65 years and older
- people aged 6 months to under 65 years with certain medical conditions
- tamariki aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness.
Check with your doctor if you are uncertain about whether you qualify for a free flu vaccine. Read more about the eligibility criteria.The vaccination is also recommended if you are in close contact with people with weakened immune systems, as these people may be less able to fight off the flu or are at high risk of complications from it. Frontline healthcare workers usually have the vaccine funded by their employer.
Read Also: Can I Take Ibuprofen After A Flu Shot