How You Catch Flu
The flu virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.
These droplets typically spread about one metre. They hang suspended in the air for a while before landing on surfaces, where the virus can survive for up to 24 hours.
Anyone who breathes in the droplets can catch flu. You can also catch the virus by touching the surfaces that the droplets have landed on if you pick up the virus on your hands and then touch your nose or mouth.
Everyday items at home and in public places can easily become contaminated with the flu virus, including food, door handles, remote controls, handrails, telephone handsets and computer keyboards. Therefore, it’s important to wash your hands frequently.
You can catch flu many times because flu viruses change regularly and your body won’t have a natural resistance to the new versions.
The Risk Of Hospitalization And Death After Vaccination Is Still Minuscule
Breakthrough cases have been on the rise and making headlines in the United States as the more infectious Delta variant has surged.
However, breaking down the raw numbers on vaccination rates and post-vaccination infections reveals how effective the COVID-19 vaccines are at protecting against hospitalization and death.
As of Sept. 7, more than 176 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the United States. The number of vaccinated people who have been hospitalized or died from COVID-19 is a minuscule fraction of that number, according to CDC data .
A total of 11,440 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 after being vaccinated. However, 2,491 of these people had no COVID-19 symptoms or were hospitalized for another condition.
So that means 8,949 people were hospitalized related to COVID-19 symptoms after being vaccinated.
This means the risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19 after vaccination is 0.005 percent.
Additionally, 2,675 deaths were reported in vaccinated people, with 493 of these deaths in people who did not have symptoms of COVID-19, or their death was unrelated to COVID-19.
This means 2,182 vaccinated people died after developing COVID-19-related symptoms.
That means the risk of dying from COVID-19-related illness after vaccination is 0.001 percent.
study published from the CDC on Friday found that Moderna vaccine recipients appeared to have the highest amount of vaccine effectiveness at 95 percent.
Government Of Canada’s Role
The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to monitor the domestic and global flu situation, and also coordinates national activities on the prevention and control of flu. Since the SARS outbreak in March 2003, the Public Health Agency of Canada has worked with many partners, including provincial and territorial health officials as well as national and international experts, to strengthen its capacity to respond to future outbreaks of infectious diseases. For example, PHAC has developed a new and comprehensive pandemic preparedness plan, which sets out standards and guidelines for such matters as local response, priority access to anti-viral drugs and the rapid production of new vaccine to protect Canadians.
Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are working collaboratively in consultation with our international partners such as the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, to monitor the safety of poultry products as it relates to avian flu.
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Is The Flu Shot Safe
Flu vaccines have a good safety record extensive research supports their safety.
Although a flu shot can cause mild side effects, such as a headache or nausea, in some people, it cannot cause the flu. Learn more here.
Many myths circulate about vaccinations, including that they weaken the immune system, lead to autism, or contain unsafe toxins. These claims are not based on scientific evidence.
Like vaccines, proper hygiene habits can defend against the flu.
The flu virus is extremely contagious it can spread to someone standing within via droplets produced when coughing, sneezing, or talking. Less often, people catch the flu by touching contaminated surfaces.
A 2018 study found that people can transfer the flu virus to others simply by breathing.
Other research demonstrated that a single contaminated doorknob or tabletop could spread a flu virus to 4060% of workers and office visitors within just 24 hours of contamination.
The findings emphasize the importance of good hygiene practices in the workplace and public areas, as well as the need to go home as soon as flu symptoms begin.
Following a few simple steps can minimize the spread of respiratory viruses, including the flu:
Research from 2012 indicates that hand hygiene and wearing surgical masks reduced the spread of flu-like symptoms by up to
These are prescription medications that can reduce flu severity and complications. They may also prevent people from getting the flu.
- baloxavir marboxil
Medical Myth Busting: Separating Fact From Fiction About Colds And Flu
Editor’s note: We’ve updated this popular flu and cold Q & A from December 2015 because, well, good advice is timeless.
With flu season approaching and cold season already well underway, how can you dodge viral infections or limit their spread to colleagues and loved ones? For tips, we again turned to Dr. Steve Pergam, assistant member of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and director of infection prevention at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. He updated his advice from last year, took a strong stand on getting the flu vaccine and helped bust some common cold and flu myths, such as:
1. Can you catch a cold from being cold?
I donât think thereâs any data to support that. It has more to do with being indoors, congregating in close proximity. Plus the winter season is when many major respiratory viruses circulate in the U.S., like influenza A/B and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, the cause of âcroupâ in young kids.
2. Is it true that people are most contagious before they know theyâre sick?
3. So how long are people contagious?
For influenza, itâs one day before symptoms, and five to seven days after the onset of symptoms. It can be as long as 10 days. Young children and patients with altered immune symptoms can shed the virus for longer periods of time. Influenza can shed for months in high-risk bone marrow transplant recipients.
4. If you have just a mild cold, are you less infectious?
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What Other Measures Can I Take To Keep Myself And Others Safe From Infection And Illness This Winter
Both COVID-19 and flu are respiratory viruses and can be caught in the same ways mainly through breathing in particles from an infected person when they cough, sneeze, speak or breathe, or when they pick up the viruses from contaminated surfaces. This means that the same measures for protecting yourself from COVID-19 apply to flu too:
- wash your hands regularly
- wear a mask when appropriate
- keep a safe distance from others our recommendation is at least 1 metre
- avoid the 3Cs: closed, confined or crowded spaces
- ensure indoor spaces are well ventilated
- cough or sneeze into a tissue or your arm to avoid spreading the disease
- get vaccinated against both viruses if youre eligible and when its your turn.
Strengthen Your Immune System
Strengthening your immune system is another way to protect yourself against the flu. A strong immune system helps your body fight off infections. And if you do become sick, a strong immune system helps reduce the severity of symptoms.
To build your immunity, sleep at least 7 to 9 hours per night. Also, maintain a regular physical activity routine at least 30 minutes, three times a week.
Follow a healthy, nutrient-rich eating plan, as well. Limit sugar, junk foods, and fatty foods. Instead, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, which are full of vitamins and antioxidants, to promote good health.
Talk to your doctor about taking a multivitamin to provide immune system support.
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Dispelling Misinformation About The Flu Vaccine Sickness Treatment And Recovery
If you’ve ever had the , you know how sick you can be. Chances are good that some of the advice friends and family gave you about avoiding or dealing with the flu was wrong. There seems to be no shortage of misinformation and bad advice when it comes to dealing with the flu and the flu shot.
Here are 10 common myths about the flu.
Boost The Immune System
The immune system protects the body from infection. When it is functioning properly, the immune system launches an attack on threats, such as flu viruses.
While the immune system usually does a good job of regulating itself, certain disorders, allergies, asthma, and some medications can limit immune function.
The following strategies can benefit the whole body, including the immune system:
- eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- exercising frequently
- reducing stress
Studies have produced some interesting findings concerning the immune system and the flu.
Vitamin D plays a vital role in the functioning of the immune system. In people with low baseline vitamin D levels, taking supplements of the vitamin may halve the risk of respiratory infections such as the flu.
Meanwhile, flavonoids, which are antioxidants found in blueberries, red wine, and black tea, may help to control the immune response. According to a 2016 review , taking flavonoid supplements may reduce the incidence and impact of upper respiratory tract infections.
In addition, physical activity can have either a positive or negative effect on the functioning of the immune system. Regular moderate exercise reduces the risk of infection, while intense exercise, such as marathon running, could increase the risk.
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Can You Catch It From Surfaces
If an infected person coughs into their hand and then wipes it on a surface, the virus may survive there for hours.
Researchers in the US found virus on the handles of rubbish bins and the buttons at pedestrian crossings.
They reckon this may have led to infections in the area, though at a relatively low level compared with other ways of spreading the virus.
In colder weather, the virus may last longer in the open – it thrives in low temperatures.
Added to that, your nose runs in the cold, and a common reaction is to wipe it with your hand.
That might raise the chances of surfaces becoming contaminated.
However, many scientists now think that the amount of virus likely to be left on a surface in this way would be minimal, and would disperse within an hour or two.
“The chance of transmission through inanimate surfaces is very small,” says Prof Emmanuel Goldman of Rutgers University.
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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How Contagious Is The Flu
Did you know that a person with the flu can infect someone up to 6 feet away? Most people believe that the flu can only be spread through a cough or sneeze, but in reality, thats not the case. Experts believe that the flu can actually be spread via respiratory droplets by simply speaking or breathing through the mouth, making it super contagious.
Thats why its so important to recover from the flu at home when youre only experiencing mild symptoms. The CDC recommends avoiding contact with others during recovery to avoid spreading the virus. There are exceptions, however if any of the following apply to you, you should seek medical attention:
- Your symptoms are moderate to severe
- Youre in a high-risk group, such as young children, pregnant women, older adults, or people with certain pre-existing conditions
- Youre worried about your illness
Click here to read up on the emergency warning signs of the flu in children and adults. If you or your child are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek urgent medical care. But if your illness is mild, recovering at home will keep others in your community safe from contracting the virus.
Im Vaccinated But Got A Breakthrough Covid Infection Can I Still Spread The Infection To Others
Yes, someone with a breakthrough COVID infection can transmit the infection to others. But a paper published in NEJM suggests that people with breakthrough infections are less likely to spread the virus than unvaccinated people who are infected. Thats because people who have been vaccinated shed the virus for shorter periods of time.
The researchers analyzed viral samples from 173 men who were part of the National Basketball Associations occupational health program. The samples had been collected between November 2020 and August 2021. The men in this study were generally young and healthy. Of the study participants, 37 were vaccinated and 136 were unvaccinated. Over the study period, 113 participants were infected with SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Alpha and Delta.
An analysis of the viral samples revealed that the amount of virus produced, even at the peak of infection, was similar regardless of which variant the participant was infected with. Viral load also did not vary much by vaccination status.
However, participants with breakthrough infections cleared their infections more quickly in an average of 5.5 days, compared to 7.5 days than people who were unvaccinated. Faster clearance translates to a shorter period of contagiousness, reducing the opportunity for someone with a breakthrough infection to spread the virus.
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Get Treatment At Home
If youre sick and need medical treatment, but dont want to risk infecting an entire waiting room full of people at your local clinic, what can you do? The simple solution is to get your healthcare delivered.
DispatchHealth travels so the flu doesnt. If youre feeling flu-like symptoms, call 1-866-FLU-CREW. Well send a team of qualified medical professionals to your home to administer a rapid flu test, provide IV fluids, order mobile chest X-rays, prescribe anti-nausea medication, and more. And we do all of this in direct communication with your primary care physicians to ensure an integrated care experience. We see patients of all ages, from the very young to older adultssegments of the population often considered at the highest risk of experiencing dangerous or life-threatening flu complications.
Sounds expensive, right? DispatchHealth is actually partnered with most major insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, and handles billing directly with those companies. In fact, a visit with DispatchHealth typically costs one-tenth of the price of a visit to the ER, and patients pay an average of $5-$50 depending on their insurance plan.
In addition to flu, we can treat a wide variety of non-life-threatening conditions including everything from sports injuries and urinary tract infections to high blood pressure and migraines. So if you need medical care for other concerns during flu season, you can avoid sharing a waiting room with those who may be contagious.
What Can You Do If You Get The Flu
If you get the flu, there are steps you can take to feel better. Act fast! First, talk with your health care provider. The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, so you may need to get tested for an accurate diagnosis. This will also help determine which medications might make you feel better.
There are prescription drugs, called antivirals, that are used to treat people with the flu. If you take them within 48 hours after the flu begins, these drugs can make you feel better more quickly. Antivirals can also help reduce your risk of complications from flu. Antibiotics do not help you recover from the flu. Still, they are sometimes prescribed to help you recover from a secondary infection if it is caused by bacteria. Bacteria are a different type of germ than viruses.
If you are sick, rest and drink plenty of fluids like juice and water, but not alcohol. Medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can bring down your fever and might help with the aches and pains. It is important not to smoke if you are sick with the flu. It is a respiratory illness that can infect your lungs as well as your nasal passages. These same areas are also affected by smoking. Take it easy as much as you can until you are well.
Monitor your symptoms and talk with your doctor if your symptoms worsen or become severe. For example, if you:
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