Twice In 1 Season Why The Flu Might Strike Again Even If Your Kid Already Had It
It’s no secret that the flu has been particularly awful recently. Children are especially vulnerable to getting sick , and when they do come down with something awful, it’s heartbreaking as a parent to watch them suffer. If your child does get sick, you might feel relieved to think they could soon be out of the woods, but unfortunately, the flu can strike more than once in the same season, warned Dr. Ian Tong, chief medical officer at Doctor on Demand. “A child could be infected by both influenza A and influenza B in the same year.”
So what can you do to try to navigate around this? Once your child’s doctor confirms the flu, take note of which type they have. “Influenza A subtype, or influenza A, is the more dangerous subtype of the flu,” Dr. Tong said. Last year, it was the severity of the H3N2 strain of the influenza A subtype that required so many people to be hospitalized. “Ironically, patients infected with influenza B may experience a longer duration of symptoms than those infected with influenza A, but those with influenza A are likely to see more severe symptoms, but of shorter duration,” Dr. Tong explained.
Can You Get The Flu Twice In One Season
Youre probably pretty interested in avoiding the flu, unless you dream of being cooped up with symptoms like a fever, chills, a hacking cough, a runny nose, muscle aches, and possibly vomiting and diarrhea. For your best chance of staying flu-free, get your flu shot. You can also opt for the nasal spray vaccine if thats more your style and you meet certain qualifications, like not having asthma or being pregnant .
Lets say you happen to get the flu before you can get vaccinated, though. You might figure its pointless to go get vaccinated at this pointyou already got the flu! Reader, its not pointless. Because if theres anything worse than getting the flu, its getting it twice in one season.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The keyword here is viruses.
The exact timing of flu season varies, but flu activity usually starts to increase in October, peaks between December and February, and peters out by May, the CDC says. Translation: Theres plenty of time for you to come down with the flu, get better, then get a different strain and get sick again or pass the virus along. Thats where the vaccine comes in.
Is going all in on flu prevention fun? No. But protecting yourselfand those around youis worth it.
Who Will Be Offered The Flu Vaccine
You’ll be offered the flu vaccine this year if you’re:
- aged 50 years or over
- a resident or staff working in a care home for older adults
- a younger adult in long stay nursing and residential care settings
- a health or social care worker
- aged 5 to 49 years with an eligible health condition
- aged 5 to 49 years and are a household contact of someone with a weakened immune system
- an unpaid carer or a young carer
- nursery, primary or secondary school teacher or a pupil-facing support staff in local authority or independent setting
- part of the prison population, a prison officer, or support staff who delivers direct front-facing detention services
NHS Scotland recommends you get the vaccine as soon as it’s offered to you.
If you have a confirmed coronavirus infection, please don’t attend your vaccination appointment. You can rearrange it online.
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When Should I Get My Flu Shot
Though the exact timing of flu season varies year to year, infections generally start to ramp up around October. The best time to get your flu shot is in the early fall, ideally before the end of October.
“But if you miss that deadline, then get it as soon as you can afterward,” Dr. Moore says. “There’s no point at which it’s too late to get your influenza vaccine.”
What Special Precautions Can Pregnant Women Take
If you are pregnant, you can reduce your risk of infection by avoiding unnecessary travel and avoiding crowds where possible. Pregnant women should also follow the general hygiene advice .
If a family member or other close contact has swine flu, your doctor may prescribe you antiviral medication as a preventative measure.
If you think that you may have swine flu, check your symptoms online. If you are still concerned, call your doctor for an assessment immediately . If your doctor confirms swine flu over the phone, you will be prescribed antiviral medication to take as soon as possible.
Unless you have swine flu symptoms, carry on attending your antenatal appointments so you can monitor the progress of your pregnancy.
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Can The Flu Be Prevented
There’s no guaranteed way to avoid the flu. But getting the flu vaccine can help. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get it every year.
Flu vaccines are available as a shot or as a nasal spray. Both work equally well. This flu season , get whichever vaccine your doctor recommends. People with weak immune systems or some health conditions and pregnant women should not get the nasal spray vaccine.
What else can you do? Wash your hands well and often. Avoid sharing cups, utensils, or towels with others. If you do catch the flu, use tissues whenever you sneeze or cough to avoid spreading the virus.
During the coronavirus pandemic, experts found that wearing masks can help protect the community from the spread of germs. They recommend that everyone wear a mask when out in public or around people who don’t live with them. Wearing masks can also help stop the spread of flu.
If you do get the flu this season, take care of yourself and call your doctor with any questions or concerns. When you’re feeling bad, remember that the flu usually lasts a week or less and you’ll be back to normal before too long.
Why Its Difficult To Predict Which Subtypes Will Dominate
Of the four types of influenza viruses that exist in nature, two cause significant disease in humans: influenza A and influenza B.
The 2022 influenza vaccine is quadrivalent : two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses from distinct lineages.
Within each flu A subtype further genetic variation can arise, with mutations generating many viral variants that are classified into clades and sub-clades.
H3N2 is particularly good at generating lots of diversity in this way. So predicting exactly which H3N2 virus to target in the vaccine is especially difficult.
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A key challenge for flu vaccines is the decision for which virus to target has to be made months ahead of time. The the H3N2 virus in the Australian flu vaccine was chosen in September 2021 to enable the vaccine to be manufactured and distributed in time for the 2022 winter.
There is no guarantee a different H3N2 virus that isnt so well targeted by the vaccine wont arrive in the country in the months leading into winter and start causing disease.
Another factor that has made predicting which H3N2 virus to target in the vaccine uniquely difficult for 2022 is the lack of data on which viruses were dominant in the preceding flu seasons, both in Australia and on the other side of the Equator.
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What Is The Incubation Period For Swine Flu
According to the Health Protection Agency, the incubation period for swine flu can be up to seven days, but is most likely to be between two and five days. It is, however, too early to be able to provide details on virus characteristics, including incubation period, with absolute certainty at this time.
Can My Pet Catch Swine Flu
There is currently no evidence that pets are susceptible to this new strain of flu. The swine flu virus appears to be passing only from person to person or from human to swine. In general, flu viruses commonly infect just one species for example, dogs and cats do not get seasonal flu from their owners.
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What Is The Flu
Influenza, or ‘the flu’, is a highly contagious respiratory illness. It’s a common cause of hospitalisation and leads to thousands more GP visits every year. Many people die annually from complications of the flu in Australia.
While you can catch the flu at any time, it’s more likely to happen in the colder months of the year . The flu season typically peaks in August, but laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza have been higher than usual so far this year as have calls about flu-related symptoms to the healthdirect helpline.
Early signs of the flu can include cough, sore throat, sinusitis or fever.
Currently there is a minimal level of flu-related calls to the healthdirect helpline. The flu vaccine and good hygiene are still the best ways of protection against the flu.
When You’re Infected With The Flu Multiple Times A Year
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to get the flu more than once a year, Cotton says. If you do get infected twice, it shouldn’t necessarily be a cause for alarm.
“If you get the flu more than once a season, you shouldn’t be worried. Contracting the virus is more related to how much exposure you have had rather than your body’s strength to fight it,” Cotton adds.
Bottom line: Your best bet for guarding yourself against the many strains and types of flu viruses is to get vaccinated for the flu every year.
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Is Swine Flu Treatable
Testing has shown that the swine flu can be treated with the antiviral medicines oseltamavir and zanamivir . However, the drugs must be administered at an early stage to be effective.
The UK already has a stockpile of antivirals sufficient to treat half the population. Also, orders of Tamiflu have been placed to increase UK supplies to 50m doses, enough to treat 80% of the population.
Why Do You Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year
You need a flu vaccine every year for two reasons. First, flu viruses change and the flu vaccine is updated each year to target the flu viruses that are anticipated to spread that year. Second, the protection you get from a flu vaccine lessens with time, especially in older adults. Getting your flu vaccine every fall gives you the best protection from that year’s flu viruses.
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How Is The Flu Diagnosed
Based on your symptoms and how you look, your doctor usually can tell if you have the flu. Most people who have it look ill and miserable.
Other infections can cause symptoms similar to the flu. So if a doctor needs to be sure that someone has the flu, they might do a test. They’ll take a sample of mucus by wiping a long cotton swab inside the nose or throat. Results might be ready quickly, or can take longer if the test is sent to a lab.
You may feel miserable if you get the flu, but it’s unlikely to be serious. It’s rare that healthy teens get other problems from the flu. Older adults , young kids , and people with ongoing medical conditions are more likely to become seriously ill with the flu.
Who Should You Get A Flu Vaccine And Which One Should You Choose
You can get the flu at any time of year, but it’s most common in the fall and winter. It usually starts to spread in October and peaks between December and February. That’s why this time is called the flu season
It takes at least two weeks for your flu vaccine to start working, so try to get vaccinated by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated after October can still help protect you from the flu. Because older adults may lose protection from a flu vaccine more quickly, try to avoid getting vaccinated too early .
Several flu vaccines are available. There are also two types of high-dose vaccinations specifically for people 65 years and older. These vaccines create a stronger immune response. Talk with a health care provider or pharmacist about which vaccine is best for you.
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Who Should Be Wearing A Facemask
The Health Protection Agency recommends that healthcare workers should wear a facemask if they come into close contact with a person with symptoms to reduce their risk of catching the virus from patients.
However, the HPA does not recommend that healthy people wear facemasks to go about their everyday business.
Will Antivirals Be Given To People Without Flu Symptoms
In most cases, no the virus is now widespread and it is no longer appropriate to try and contain the spread of the disease . Antivirals will generally only be given, at a doctor’s discretion, to people who have been diagnosed with swine flu.
Doctors should not offer antiviral medication as prophylaxis to contacts of cases unless, for example, a household member has serious underlying health problems or there are other special circumstances.
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Which Vaccines Are Used
This year, the Adjuvanted Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine is being offered to people aged 65 or over. This vaccine contains a substance, known as an adjuvant, to help to stimulate the immune system and create a better response.
This vaccine has been widely used in many other countries and has been shown to offer better and longer-lasting protection in older people than flu vaccines without an adjuvant.
Only one dose of the flu vaccine is needed each winter.
How Does The Flu Spread
The flu is contagious, which means it spreads from person to person. It mostly spreads through droplets in the air when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. It can spread from up to six feet away. Although it isn’t as common, the flu can also spread from surfaces for example, if you touch something the virus is on and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes.
It’s possible to spread the flu before you feel sick and when you have symptoms. Typically, people with the flu can spread it a day before, and up to a week after feeling sick. Young children and people with weakened immune systems may be able to spread the flu for even longer. If you or someone you know is sick with the flu, take steps to help prevent spreading the disease
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What Is The Definition Of Who Phase 6
The technical definition of Phase 6 is human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one World Health Organisation region, with community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region.
Because the virus has been spreading for some time in North America, the decision that community level outbreaks were occurring in other regions means that the criteria for Phase 6 have been fulfilled.
Yes You Can You Get The Flu More Than Once A Year
- At least some of the 9.7 million people infected with the flu this season will get the flu again before the year is up. But it probably won’t be from the same strain of influenza virus.
- Influenza viruses come in four main types: A, B, C, and D. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found more cases of type B infections something that hasn’t happened since 1992.
- If you’ve been infected with type B flu, you’re still susceptible to contracting type A flu and vice versa.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 9.7 million people have fallen prey to the flu so far this season. And it’s likely that some of those unfortunates will get the flu again before the year is up.
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Why Shouldn’t The General Public Wear Facemasks
Because theres no conclusive evidence that facemasks will protect healthy people in their day-to-day lives.
The virus is spread by picking up the virus from touching infected surfaces, or by someone coughing or sneezing at very close range so unless you are standing close to someone with the virus, wearing a facemask will not make a difference.
There are concerns about the risks posed by not using facemasks correctly.
Facemasks must be changed regularly as they are less effective when dampened by a persons breath. People may infect themselves if they touch the outer surface of their mask, or may infect others by not disposing of old masks safely.
Finally, wearing a facemask may encourage complacency. People need to focus on good hand hygiene, staying at home if they are feeling unwell, and covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze.