Flu Symptoms In Kids This Year
Each year, the flu virus mutates and adapts . So, what symptoms does this years flu bug cause?
The predominant strain so far this year is H3N2, which can have vomiting and diarrhea associated with it, says Lockwood. Not everyone will have the same symptoms when they get the flu though. It can be hard to distinguish the flu from covid or even a common cold. A high fever, intense headache, and diarrhea are more typical of flu than a cold. Nasal congestion, sneezing, and sore throat are more common from flu than covid.
In general, common flu symptoms include fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, fever, and runny or stuffy nose, according to the CDC. Katugaha notes that vomiting and diarrhea tend to be more common in kids with the flu than adults, and that children are usually the ones who experience severe illness from the flu.
Children are particularly vulnerable to severe flu outcomes, so it is very important to get your child vaccinated, she says. One study found the flu vaccine reduces childrens risk of severe life-threatening influenza by 75%. Another study found that flu vaccinations reduced flu-related ER visits in children by half.
Who Should Not Get The Nasal Flu Vaccine
- Children less than 2 years old .
- Those who are pregnant and people who have weakened immune systems. It is a live virus vaccine.
- People who have to take acetylsalicylic acid on a daily basis.
- People with severe asthma who have been treated with steroids or had severe wheezing in the past 7 days .
These people should get the injected vaccine.
Why Is It Important To Get The Flu Shot
Timeliness aside, it’s especially important to get a flu shot so hospitals aren’t overrun with people with influenza. “Even during non-COVID-19 years, during a bad flu season, hospitals run at capacity, and our ERs and ICUs are full,” Dr. Narasimhan said.
The similarities between the flu and COVID-19 can bring more people to the hospital. “As flu and COVID-19 compete for the same hospital resources, personal protective equipment, and diagnostic reagents, it is important to try and minimize the impact of the flu,” Dr. Adalja said. “Decreasing the burden of influenza is one way to make sure we have enough room for COVID-19 cases.”
Besides decreasing the burden on healthcare workers, getting the flu vaccine will protect you and others from getting sick. And if you do happen to get sick, it will significantly reduce the severity of the illness. According to the CDC, it is estimated that flu vaccination prevented 7.52 million illnesses between 2019-2020, while lessening the hospital burden by 108,000 hospitalizations.
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Is The Flu Vaccine Safe For Babies
Although the flu shot for babies can reduce the risk of many health complications, some parents worry about thimerosal in vaccines. This mercury-based preservative has previously been linked to autism in young children. In actuality, study after study continues to disprove any link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism in children. Plus, only the flu vaccines packaged in multi-dose vials contain thimerosal nowadays, and parents can always ask for thimerosal-free alternatives.
Research shows that the risks associated with a baby contracting the flu are far worse than any side effects that may occur as a result of the shot. “Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines,” says the CDC.
Flu Can Be Dangerous For Children
Flu illness is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Each year, millions of children get sick with seasonal flu thousands of children are hospitalized, and some children die from flu. Children commonly need medical care because of flu, especially children younger than 5 years old.
- Complications from flu among children in this age group can include:
- Pneumonia: an illness where the lungs get infected and inflamed
- Dehydration: when a childs body loses too much water and salts, often because fluid losses are greater than from fluid intake)
- Worsening of long-term medical problems like heart disease or asthma
- Brain dysfunction such as encephalopathy
- Sinus problems and ear infections
- In rare cases, flu complications can lead to death.
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Can My Child Get Flu From A Flu Vaccine
No, flu vaccines do not cause flu. Flu vaccines are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with
Flu vaccine protects your child from flu illness. However, flu shots can sometimes cause mild side effects that may be mistaken for flu. Keep in mind that it will take about 2 weeks after getting a vaccine for your child to build protection against flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend children receive all vaccines according to the recommended vaccine schedule.
Can My Child Get The Flu Vaccine At The Same Time As Another Childhood Vaccine Including The Covid
Yes. It is safe to get the seasonal flu vaccine at the same time as any childhood vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Many children are behind with their childhood vaccines or boosters because of the COVID-19 pandemic and getting the vaccines at the same time can help them catch up more quickly.
For children 5 to 11 years old, it may be best to wait at least 14 days between the COVID-19 and other vaccines. The reason for this is that if any side effects happen, doctors will know which vaccine they are related to. But only space out vaccines if you are sure that no other vaccines your child needs will be given late.
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Flu Vaccines Are Very Safe
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines for more than 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. When they occur, flu vaccine side effects are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days.
Things Parents Should Know About Flu Shots
- By Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
Follow me on Twitter @drClaire
We started giving flu shots at our practice last week, and it made me not just happy, but relieved. I know how bad influenza can be and I always feel better when we can start preventing it.
Every year, influenza sickens millions, hospitalizes hundreds of thousands, and kills tens of thousands. This is not your average common cold. While it is especially dangerous for anyone who already has a health problem , it can be dangerous for healthy people, too.
Even if you dont get that sick from the flu, aside from missing school or work there is the very real problem that influenza is very contagious and you can be contagious before you realize that you have the flu. That means you can spread it to others, some of whom may get very sick. Getting immunized helps keep everyone safe: its not just about you, its about everyone around you. This is especially true for children, who arent always great about washing their hands and tend to touch lots of things and people around them.
Here are a few things all parents should know about the flu vaccine:
About the Author
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How Safe Is The Flu Vaccine
The influenza vaccine is very safe. It cannot cause the flu. Side effects are usually mild and can include:
- mild soreness where the needle went into the arm for 1 to 2 days.
- a mild fever or aches for the first day or 2 after immunization.
Do not give your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen before or around the time of vaccination as it does not prevent the pain of injection and it could have an impact on how well the vaccine works. These medications can be used to treat fever, pain, or other bothersome side effects if they develop after vaccination.
Who Should Get The Flu Vaccine
Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated for flu. It is especially important that the people in one of the groups listed below get a flu shot every year as they are more likely to get severely ill with flu.
- Children aged 6 months through 18 years
- People 50 years of age and older
- Pregnant and postpartum women
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, neurologic and neuromuscular conditions and weakened immune systems
- People with muscle and nerve disorders that make it difficult to breath or swallow
- Children aged 6 months through 18 years on long-term aspirin therapy
- People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities
- Anyone who might transmit flu to someone at risk. For example, health care workers, including those in training, emergency response workers, direct care staff, people who live with or care for anyone on the list above, and people who live with or care for infants under 6 months of age, including parents, siblings, and daycare providers
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Can You Get The Flu From A Flu Shot
Some people worry about getting a flu shot because they are afraid they will get sick from the vaccine. Rest assured, it is not possible to get influenza from the flu shot. It does not contain intact viruses that can cause infection. It is possible that you might not feel well after you get a flu shot, but that may be for any of several other reasons.
What Is A Flu Vaccine
Influenza vaccines are vaccines that protect against the four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Most flu vaccines are flu shots given with a needle, usually in the arm, but there also is a nasal spray flu vaccine.
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First Things Firstwhat Is The Flu
The flu is a viral infection that mostly affects the breathing passages and can even affect the brain and entire body. If youre suffering from the flu, youll have a fever , cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. No fun, right? Unlike the common cold, the flu can knock you out for one to two weeksand by weakening your immune system for many weekslong after the flu is over! It commonly leads to serious secondary infections, like sinusitis or pneumonia.
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.
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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When Should I Be Vaccinated
You should get a flu vaccine before viruses begin spreading in your community because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. CDC recommends that everyone should get a flu vaccine by the end of October.
However, if you have not received your vaccination before October, getting vaccinated later in the season is still beneficial, even into January or later.
Children who need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected should be vaccinated as soon as vaccine is available, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.
Is There More Than One Type Of Flu Shot Available
Yes. There are different flu vaccine manufacturers and multiple flu vaccines that are licensed and recommended for use in the United States.
For people younger than 65 years, CDC does not preferentially recommend any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine over another during the 2022-2023 flu season. Options for this age group include inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated influenza vaccine , with no preference for any flu vaccine over another.
New for this season: For people 65 years and older, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended overstandard-dose, unadjuvanted flu vaccines. These are Fluzone High-DoseQuadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinantflu vaccine and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine. More information is available at Flu & People 65 Years and Older.
All flu vaccines for the 2022-2023 season are quadrivalent vaccines, designed to protect against four different flu viruses, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Different vaccines are licensed for use in different age groups, and some vaccines are not recommended for some groups of people.
Available flu vaccines include:
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The Flu Shot Is Still Worth It
While the flu shot cant eliminate your risk of coming down with the flu, it does offer many benefits, including greatly reducing your chances of getting sick.
And if you do get the flu after getting vaccinated, youre more likely to get a milder case with less severe symptoms. The vaccine also lowers the likelihood of serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia or being hospitalized.
Myth #: You Can Get The Flu From The Flu Shot And Other Flu Vaccines
Fact: Many people have questions about the flu shot. Can you get the flu from the flu shot? Can the flu shot make you sick? Is the flu shot a live virus? Can live virus vaccines give you the flu? The answer for all of these is a definite no.
Flu vaccines are made with either inactive virus or weakened virus . Neither can give you the flu, rather theyre designed to help your body know how to fight flu germs.
Both types of vaccines trigger your bodys immune response. Whether the vaccine contains inactive or weakened virus, your immune system recognizes it as an intruder and creates antibodies. This antibody creation is what can spur side effects, as well as get your body ready for a possible exposure to an active virus. And those side effects can easily be mistaken for early flu-like symptoms but its really just a sign that the vaccine is working.
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Why Do Some People Not Feel Well After Getting A Flu Shot
Flu vaccine side effects are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days. Some side effects that may occur from a flu shot include soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given, headache , fever, nausea, muscle aches, and fatigue. The flu shot, like other injections, can occasionally cause fainting.
Who Should And Who Should Not Get A Flu Vaccine
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. Different influenza vaccines are approved for different age groups. Some people should not get some types of influenza vaccines, and some people should not receive flu vaccines at all . Everyone who is vaccinated should receive a flu vaccine that is appropriate for their age and health status. For people younger than 65 years, there is no preference for any one vaccine over another. Beginning with the 2022-2023 flu season, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people aged 65 and older. These are Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine or Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine.
This page includes information on who should and who should not get a flu vaccine, and who should talk to a health care professional before vaccination. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions regarding which influenza vaccines are best for you and your family.
All persons aged 6 months of age and older are recommended for annual flu vaccination, with rare exception.
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications.
People who can get the flu shot:
Flu shots are appropriate for most people.
People who SHOULD NOT get a flu shot include:
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