What Is The Basic Information About Flu And Flu Season
Influenza viruses cause flu. The viruses spread from person to person when infected people cough, sneeze or touch objects. Flu can be mild or severe and can even cause death. Older people, children under 5 , pregnant women and people with certain health conditions are at a higher risk for serious complications from the flu.
Flu season usually begins in December and lasts until April or May in the U.S.
During the 20192020 flu season, at least 188 children died from flu and flu-associated illness in the U.S. Most of these children had not received a flu vaccination. Thousands more children were hospitalized.
There was much less flu illness in the 2020-2021 season because people were staying home, social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands to avoid getting COVID-19. These actions also help people prevent getting the flu.
What Are The Types Of Flu Vaccines
Two types of flu vaccine are available for the 20212022 flu season:
- the flu shot, which is injected with a needle
- the nasal spray, a mist that gets sprayed into the nostrils
Both protect against the four types of influenza virus that are causing disease this season.
In the past, the nasal spray vaccine wasn’t recommended for kids because it didn’t seem to work well enough. The newer version appears to work as well as the shot. So either vaccine can be given this year, depending on the child’s age and general health.
The nasal spray is only for healthy people ages 249. People with weak immune systems or some health conditions and pregnant women should not get the nasal spray vaccine. It should also be avoided in kids who take aspirin regularly, who have a cochlear implant, or who have recently taken antiviral medicine for the flu.
If My Child Does Not Go To School Can They Still Get The Flu
If there is any risk that anyone in your household can get the flu, your child could also get it. The CDC and the AAP recommend the vaccine for all children. When children are young, or have a chronic condition, they get sicker when they get the flu. It is possible to get the illness anywhere your child comes in contact with other people .
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What Should I Do If My Child Is Vomiting
Treat with small amounts of clear fluids every 5 to 10 minutes. If your child becomes dehydrated or if isolated vomiting without diarrhea lasts more than 48 hours, your child should see a doctor. If your child only vomits after taking Tamiflu, try to hide the bitter flavor in foods such as chocolate syrup. If vomiting continues, your doctor may need to stop the Tamiflu.
- Get vaccinated. The CDC recommends all adults and children older than 6 months receive a flu shot.
- Hand washing is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and others.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
- Stay home when you are sick to prevent others from catching your illness. If possible, stay home from work, school, or public places until at least 24 hours after a fever has ceased without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have a tissue, then cough or sneeze into your sleeve. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
- Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing, washing with soap and water, or with alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Avoid touching your faceoften because germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
What Types Of Flu Vaccines Are Available
Inactivated VaccineThis vaccine contains a killed flu virus. It is approved for use in people 6 months and older, people with chronic medical conditions, and pregnant women.
Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine This nasal-spray flu vaccine is made with live, weakened flu viruses. The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine do not cause the flu, but may cause some nasal congestion.
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People Targeted By The Free Program
- Children age 6 to 23 months
- People with certain chronic diseases, such as heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes, major obesity, cancer, asthma or a weakened immune system
- Pregnant women in good health who are in their 2nd or 3rd trimester
- People age 60 or older
Close contacts of groups of people at risk or of children under six months old, health-care workers, and pregnant women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester can also receive the vaccine at no charge. This year again, it is also free for people who live in remote or isolated areas.
Anyone else who wants protection against the seasonal flu can be vaccinated at their own expense.
How Flu Is Transmitted
The flu is contagious. A person can spread the flu starting one day before he or she feels sick and up to seven days after getting sick. Children can be contagious longer, often for around two weeks after getting sick.
Flu viruses are spread when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes or speaks and spreads virus-laden droplets into the air that other people inhale. The virus also can be spread when a person touches a surface with flu viruses on it, such as a door handle, and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
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Free Flu Vaccines Now Offered At Some High
Although flu season usually ends in April, flu cases are rising now in Oregon. Public health experts encourage anyone six months and older who has not had a flu shot this season to get one. Three of Oregon Health Authoritys high-volume COVID-19 vaccination sites now offer free flu shots, in addition to COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for all age groups. No appointments or proof of insurance or immigration status are required.
High-volume COVID-19 vaccination sites offering free flu vaccines:
Salem Oregon State Fair & Expo Center
- 1935 Silverton Road NE opposite side of street at the white tents
- Open Thursdays through Saturdays, noon to 7 p.m.
- Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Indoor drive-thru clinic
Wood Village former Multnomah Greyhound Park
- 944 NE 223rd Ave.
- Open Thursdays through Saturdays, noon to 7 p.m.
- Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Outdoor drive-thru clinic
Flu shots are also widely available at pharmacies, urgent care clinics or your providers office. Supermarkets with pharmacies and schools are also possible locations to get a flu shot. .
For more information on flu trends in Oregon, check out OHAs weekly FluBites report, published every Friday.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine
Both types of vaccine can cause mild side effects.
- The flu shot usually is given as an injection in the upper arm or thigh . It contains killed flu virus and can’t cause someone to get the flu. But it can cause soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site. Rarely, it might cause a low fever or body aches.
- The nasal spray flu vaccine contains weakened live flu viruses. So it may cause mild symptoms, such as a runny nose, wheezing, sore throat, vomiting, or tiredness. Like the shot, it can sometimes cause a low fever or body aches.
Sometimes, people faint after getting a shot, especially teens. It helps to sit or lie down for 15 minutes right after a shot to prevent this.
If your child has any side effects, talk to your doctor about giving either acetaminophen or ibuprofen and to find out the right dose.
A warm, damp cloth or a heating pad on the injection site may help ease soreness, as can moving or using the arm.
Very rarely, the flu vaccine can cause a serious allergic reaction.
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Where To Get A Flu Shot
During flu season you can get a free flu shot from:
- your doctor or nurse practitioner
- participating pharmacies
Children six moths to four years old can get their flu shot from a doctor, nurse practitioner or local public health unit. Children under five years old cannot get a flu shot at a pharmacy.
What Problems Can Happen
Some children are more likely to have problems when they get the flu, including:
- kids up to age 5, especially babies
- people with a weak immune system from medicines or illnesses or illnesses
- people with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes
- kids or teens who take aspirin regularly
- people who are very obese
- women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, just had a baby, or are breastfeeding
- people who live in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes
- people 65 years and older
If they get the flu, their illness can be more serious. They can develop pneumonia or get even sicker from other kinds of infections . If this happens, many will need medical care in the hospital. So it’s important for them not to be near anyone who has the flu or flu-like symptoms.
People who have flu symptoms should keep their distance from anyone who might get very sick if they catch the flu.
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What If My Child Is Not A Chop Primary Care Patient
If your child is NOT regularly followed by a CHOP Primary Care provider, we encourage you to talk to your childs pediatrician about your options for getting the flu vaccine. Many commercial pharmacies also offer easy, convenient flu shot appointments, as do local departments of health .
If your child sees a CHOP specialist, they may be able to get their flu shot at an upcoming appointment if supply is available. Ask at your appointment about getting a flu shot and we will do our best to accommodate you as supply allows.
When Should I Get A Flu Shot
It is best to get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begin spreading in your community, so you have begun developing influenza antibodies to protect you against contracting the flu.
The CDC recommends that you get a flu shot by the end of October, but its not too late to benefit from some level of protection even as late as January.
NOTE: COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines may be administered at the same visit. You may receive both vaccines safely, with no wait time in between. However, at Michigan Medicine, the two vaccines must each be scheduled.
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Find A Doctor For Your Child
Your child’s doctor should be your primary resource for answers to your flu questions. If you do not have a doctor for your child, contact our ParentSmart Healthline at for help finding a doctor and for answers about the flu.
Remember that the best way to protect yourself and your family is to take basic preventive measures such as washing your hands, avoiding sick people and getting your family vaccinated.
Please consider this information before calling or visiting your doctor.
Its More Important Than Ever
Getting the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, but its important to protect yourself and others this flu season.
Theâ¯Flu Facts page on Ontario.caâ¯has information to help you identify if you have the flu, a cold or COVID-19.
Remember that influenza spreads easily, especially during the peak season running from late fall to early spring.
Symptoms of the flu include:
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What Else Can Help
To make spreading the flu less likely, everyone in your family should::
- Wash hands well and often with soap, especially after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and before eating or preparing food
- Never pick up used tissues.
- Never share cups and eating utensils.
- Stay home from work or school if they have the flu.
- Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, then put it in the trash.
- Cough or sneeze into their upper arm, not their hands, if a tissue isn’t handy.
How Does The Flu Shot Protect You
The flu shot prompts your immune system to produce antibodies against a specific strain of the flu. If youre exposed to this particular flu virus later, youll already have antibodies ready to fight off the virus.
It usually takes about 2 weeks to build up your immunity to a flu virus after youve been vaccinated against it.
Youll have the most antibodies 1 to 2 months later. After this time, your protection begins to decline. Thats why you need a flu shot every year.
Each years vaccine is based on which strains are most likely to spread during that flu season.
The vaccine wont protect you from every strain. But if you do get sick, itll likely be less severe due to the vaccine.
The 2020-21 flu season may be complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The overlap of these two viral illnesses threatens to overburden hospitals, which typically get an influx of patients who have complications from the seasonal flu.
Getting your flu shot can help lower your risk of flu complications that could put you in the hospital.
Most people have little to no reaction following the vaccine. Theres no live virus in the flu shot, so it cant give you the flu.
Some people have a temporary reaction at the injection site, such as:
Normally, you can get a flu vaccine at your doctors office, your local pharmacy, or even at a walk-in retail clinic.
Some employers even provide flu shots for their employees at their workplace.
- Contact your
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Where Can Family Members Get The Vaccine
To help keep patients and families safe, we are continuing to limit visitors to Seattle Childrens. This means vouchers are not available in the Flu Room this year.
Family members and household contacts ages 3 and older can get a flu vaccine voucher to use at Rite Aid or Bartell Drugs .
- Find a Rite Aid location online or by calling .
- Find a Bartell Drugs location online or by calling .
- If your child does not have an upcoming in-person appointment, visit or hospital stay, you can download the flu voucher .
Family members 6 months to 35 months old will need to get a flu vaccine at their primary care providers office. Visit Help Me Grow Washington or call if you need help finding a primary care provider.
Who Should Get The Flu Vaccine
The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older get the flu vaccine every season. It does, however, mention that different vaccines may be required for different people. The nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women due to an increased risk of complications, according to the CDC.
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The Fever Is Gone Why Is My Child Still Coughing
Fever disappears when the immune system starts producing antibodies to fight the virus. The cough normally continues for two or three weeks due to a damaged lining of the throat and windpipe. Recent research showed that honey was more effective at quieting coughs than over-the-counter cough medicines. If coughing is non-stop and interferes with normal activities, however, your child should see a doctor to rule out underlying asthma, which can be well-controlled with asthma medicines.
Everything You Need To Plan Your Flu Shot
Texas Childrens Pediatrics remains committed to keeping every child vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases. This year, we are doing everything we can to expand our offerings to provide your family more options and greater convenience for getting vaccinated against the flu.
From evening and weekend offerings, as well as Car Side options at select locations, we have a time, place and method to fit your familys needs for getting the flu vaccine this year.
Visit your locations Facebook page for more details on what options, times and days are available for flu vaccines.
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How Is The Flu Diagnosed
Often, how a child looks is enough for health care providers to diagnose the flu. Kids who have it usually look ill and miserable.
Other infections can cause symptoms similar to the flu. So if health care providers need to be sure that someone has influenza, 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.
Biometric Screenings Can Be A Great Addition To A Flu Clinic:
- Get a sense of the health of your employee population
- Provide employees with data on current and potential medical issues
- Help employees recognize strategies for disease prevention and better health
Learn more about Biometric Screenings and ask an account representative about adding this service onto your on-site flu clinic.
The Passport Health Advantage
Protect employee health and your bottom line this flu season. Schedule an on-site flu shot clinic.
Why Passport Health?
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Pediatrics At Mount Zion
2330 Post St., Third Floor, San Francisco
We offer flu shots for children, by appointment only. Self-schedule via MyChart or call 885-7478.
Weekday Flu Nurse Visits in Clinics*Weekdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
* Note: At weekday visits, we can accommodate two siblings. For more than two children, a second adult must be present so we can safely distance everyone in multiple exam rooms.