Who Should Get A Flu Shot
In general, everyone over 6 months of age should get a flu shot. Though rare, certain types of flu vaccines may be unsafe for women who are pregnant or people with certain chronic conditions or serious allergies to vaccine ingredients like gelatin and antibiotics. Ask your doctor if youâre unsure.
How Does The Flu Spread
The flu mostly spreads through respiratory particles that are released when your cough and sneeze. If you have the flu and sneeze in a crowded area, those around you can inhale the particles of your sneeze and get the virus.
The virus can also be transmitted through coming into contact with objects or surfaces, such as a door handle or keyboard, that are coated in these respiratory particles. If you touch a contaminated object and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you may get the flu.
If you already have the flu, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of passing it to others:
- Stay home. The flu is extremely contagious, so it can spread quickly in crowded settings, such as schools and offices. Try to limit your contact with others until youve been fever-free for at least 24 hours.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands with soap and warm water often, especially after coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water arent available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your mouth and nose. When you sneeze or tough, try to do so into a tissue or the crook of your elbow to reduce the spread of respiratory particles. Make sure to quickly throw away any used tissues.
When Exactly Is Flu Season
In general in the United States, flu season can start anytime in late fall, peak in mid-to-late winter , and continue through early spring. On average, flu season lasts about 13 weeks. It will usually end by April, but in some years it can linger into May.
It is a good idea to get a flu shot before the start of flu season so that you don’t get sick with the flu, but even a late flu shot provides protection, especially when flu season lingers into April or May.
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What Is The Flu
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness typically in the nose, throat, and lungs caused by influenza viruses. It can result in mild to severe illness and sometimes death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinated each year with a flu vaccine. Use the vaccine finder to find a flu vaccine location near you! Find out more about flu by clicking the flu basics button below.
What Should You Do If You Get The Flu
If you develop flu-like symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others especially high-risk populations . Most people will recover within a week or 10 days. Generally speaking, most individuals will get better on their own rest, fluids and OTC medication to help reduce fever and aches, says Chager.
Dickinson sums it up: Take it easy, rest, eat nutritious foods, drink plenty of fluids and try not to give it to anyone else.
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Do I Need Both The Flu Vaccine And The Covid
Yes, you need to get vaccinated with both the flu vaccine and the Covid-19 vaccine. You can get both vaccines at the same time . But, again, the flu season is expected to occur even as Covid-19 continues, so you should get a flu shot and get vaccinated with a Covid-19 vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Why Is It So Important To Get A Flu Shot
Many people think of the flu as a mild illness. Its common for people to say a cough or sneeze is just the flu.
However, the flu can actually be a very serious illness. People in high-risk groups can experience serious flu symptoms that can lead to hospitalization and even death. High-risk groups include:
- young children
- people with diabetes
- people with conditions that impact their immune systems
The flu spreads in respiratory droplets from person to person. Even if you have a mild case, you can pass the flu virus to others. This could include people in high-risk groups.
Flu shots are the best way to prevent the flu and keep you from passing the flu to others. Research has shown that flu shots reduce the risk of illness, hospitalization, and death.
When you think about the flu, you probably think of a single condition, but there are actually different influenza viruses that can lead to the flu. Each year, researchers determine which strains of the flu-causing viruses are likely to be the most common during the upcoming flu season. This research is used to create the flu vaccine for that season. Thats one reason its so important to get a flu shot every year.
Flu viruses change all the time, so last years shot might not protect you from this years viruses. Plus, your immune systems defenses from the flu shot fade with time, so getting an annual shot is a great way to stay protected.
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Can The Flu Shot Make You Sick
Despite the medical communitys advice to get flu-vaccinated, a large portion of the public remains skeptical. In early December 2018, a survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago revealed that 41 percent of adults had not yet been vaccinated and did not intend to do so.
When asked why they were declining to get vaccinated, adults were most likely to cite concerns about:
- Side effects from the flu
- Getting sick from the vaccine
- The effectiveness of a flu shot
Youve no doubt heard people say , Just getting a flu shot can make me sick, cant it? Actually, no, as Dr. Turner explains.
The vaccination is a killed virus and cannot give you the flu, she says. As with any vaccine , it is normal to have mild soreness or redness around the injection site. Also, a mild fever or body aches may develop for one to two days, but thats only a normal immune responseand not the flu itself.
Is Flu Common This Time Of Year
The exact dates of the flu season in the United States are not fixed and change every year. However, flu season typically starts in the fall when temperatures begin to fall and ends when temperatures rise in the spring. This means a typical flu season in the US runs from October through April. This is also true for other countries such as Canada and Europe.
Flu seasons in other countries may occur at different times of the year. For example, in countries in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Australia, South Africa, and Brazil, the flu season runs in the winter months: April through October .
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Advice For Diagnosing Influenza
There is a spectrum of tests that can be used to detect influenza. Some of them are faster and more accurate than others. Typically, patients will need to see a nurse or physician to receive a diagnostic test for the flu. For more information about how influenza is diagnosed, review the CDCs guide for diagnosing the flu.
How Do Experts Decide What To Put Into The Flu Vaccine
During flu season, experts study samples of the viruses circulating to find out how well the vaccine protected against those viruses. They use that information to help make their decision for the next one.
In general, vaccines work better against influenza B and influenza A viruses than they do against influenza A viruses.
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Can You Still Get The Flu Out Of Season Though
In a word, yesthe flu can technically circulate all year long, meaning you can get the flu anytime, says Dr. Bhuyan. Its just less like to be transmitted to large numbers of people during the off-season. Additionally, when its summer in the Northern Hemisphere, its winter in the Southern Hemisphere so if you travel to a place like Australia during their winter, you can definitely pick up the flu.
Cases of the flu begin to pick up around October, peak in December through February, and can last until May.
However, the virus isnt as strong during the warmer seasons, and people arent as susceptible, so its generally pretty rare, adds LaTasha Perkins, MD, a family physician in Washington D.C.
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When Does Flu Season Usually Begin And End
Flu season in the United States usually lasts during fall and winter, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
It can start as early as October and last as long as May. Ohios flu season usually peaks in February, according to the Ohio Department of Health .
Talk with your doctor for more information about flu season and getting your flu shot in time for flu season.
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Tips For Parents On Helping Prevent The Spread Of The Flu
Once the flu season has begun, parents must teach their children how to prevent themselves from getting the flu. This is especially important for children who suffer from long-term medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or neurological disorders. These and other conditions may complicate a flu infection, necessitating hospitalization.
The same precautions must be taken for children who are younger than the age of five, especially for children below the age of two. Flu infections have the potential to result in extreme discomfort and even death, so it is important that parents take action to help their children avoid getting sick this flu season.
How To Protect Your Family From The Flu
Once the flu starts circulating, you can reduce your family’s chance of getting sick. Besides getting vaccinated, here are some of the most important steps you can take, according to Dr. Woody:
- Stay home when you’re sick. This can prevent spreading the virus even more, and it also promotes your own return to health.
- Wash your hands regularly. “This is a small yet significant step in living healthier,” says Dr. Woody. “Regularly washing your hands helps prevent bad bacteria and viruses from entering your body and causing you to get sick. Frequent hand-washing can help you avoid the flu and other diseases,” including the coronavirus.
- Wear a mask in crowded indoor places. Any face mask that completely covers the mouth and the nose is effective because it prevents the aerosolization of contagious flu droplets, says Dr. Woody. In other words, face coverings can keep the virus particles from entering your nose and mouth, which can lead to infection.
- Eat a balanced diet. Your diet affects your overall health, so to keep your body in top condition, try to eat balanced meals that include plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially during flu season.
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When Can I Get The Shot
Most vaccines are available during the months of October or November, and since this could vary from region to region, you should always contact provincial and territorial health ministries to find out exact dates.
People with chronic diseases, everyone 65 years of age and over, children under five years of age and pregnant women should get the flu shot as they are at a greater risk of developing severe complications, such as pneumonia, says Anna Maddison, senior media relations adviser of Health Canada. The flu shot is also important for health and other care providers, who are in contact with people at higher risk of complications from the flu.
And even if you got the flu shot last year, its important to note virus strains vary from year to year, wearing off the effectiveness of the shot from the year prior.
In addition to getting a shot from your doctor, pharmacists at retailers like Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall also provide shots.
Where To Get A Flu Vaccine
Flu vaccine is available now in the community, including at pharmacies, doctors offices, and grocery stores. Find a location near you using vaccines.gov.
The Health Department is offering flu shots for children and adults by appointment only.
The following fees will apply for a flu vaccine at the Health Department: Medicaid Insurance: $0 Uninsured: $25 adults & $21.24 children Private Insurance: $30. Most health insurance plans cover flu shots for free. The Health Department is out-of-network for private health insurance. If you have private health insurance, you are encouraged to get the flu vaccine at an in-network provider.
- An annual flu vaccine is the best way to fight the flu.
- Flu vaccine is safe and effective.
- There is no live flu virus in the injectable vaccine and it cannot cause the flu.
- The CDC recommend that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu EVERY year, especially people who are at high risk.
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How To Stay Protected This Flu Season
If youre concerned about catching the flu, the best thing you can do is get the flu vaccine. You should aim to get the vaccine between October and November, however you can get it at any point during flu season.
The flu vaccine can be administered very quickly and easily it is given as one injection in the upper arm and rarely causes side effects.
For people in high-risk groups, the flu vaccine is free on the NHS. People who dont qualify for a free flu jab can pay for the vaccine. At LloydsPharmacy we run a flu vaccine service every autumn. Visit your local store for more information.
Remember each year a new vaccine is created to offer protection against strains of the flu that will be prevalent in the upcoming flu season. To stay protected, you will need to get the vaccine every year.
How Is The Flu Season Monitored
There are state, national, and international surveillance systems that track influenza virus activity. The CDC provides national surveillance and tracks the following items to calculate flu activity:
Data from clinical laboratories: Laboratories report the number of positive flu tests.
Data from outpatient visits: Healthcare providers can volunteer to be part of ILINet, which provides data on how many people come to the office with influenza-like symptoms.
Data from hospitalizations: Some hospitals take part in FluSurv-NET, which provides data on how many people are hospitalized with influenza.
The CDCs FluView reports comprehensive flu activity data each week. They also have an interactive map where you can track flu activity throughout the country and see how the current flu season compares with previous years.
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When Is Cold And Flu Season
Flu season typically starts in October, but how long does the flu season last? Unfortunately, it can continue through May.
If youre a senior citizen, you could be at a higher risk for the flu. The influenza virus attacks people with vulnerable immune systems like seniors and young children.
Other groups at risk include heart and liver patients, pregnant and nursing mothers, and people who are extremely overweight.
Even if you feel healthy, you should still get a flu shot. You could be transmitting the sickness to your family or co-workers.
More Information About Vaccinations
The flu vaccine is widely available, but some people may be concerned about things such as when to receive a vaccination, why they actually need it, and whether getting vaccinated can have adverse effects. Learn more about the answers to these questions using the facts listed in this CDC guide to flu vaccinations.
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Can You Catch The Flu Twice In One Season
Yes, this is possible although it is unlikely.
The reason for this is that the flu is not one virus, but rather a family of viruses which all affect the body in the same way. There are four main types of influenza virus A,B,C and D and each year, viruses from the A and B groups are responsible for causing flu outbreaks amongst humans. Within the A and B groups, multiple strains can end up circulating at the same time.
This means that its possible to catch one strain of the flu, become ill and recover, then catch a different strain later on during the same flu season. This is also the reason why a new flu vaccine is created each year, and can only offer protection for one season.
And Before You Go Some Good News
In early December, The Redding Record Searchlight wrote about a surprising musical talent a masterful cellist who lives on the streets.
Alissa Johnson, 33, has been playing cello since she was 11 and was described as a musical genius. Unable to afford a new instrument outright, she bought a custom-made cello for $7,300 on credit earlier this year.
After the newspaper article published, Johnson got word that an anonymous reader wanted to pay off her cello. She still owed $6,649.
I wish I could give them a hug, like 1,000 hugs or maybe how about like 6,600 hugs, Johnson told The Redding Record Searchlight.
Thanks for reading. Ill be back tomorrow. Soumya
P.S. Heres todays Mini Crossword, and a clue: Bit of improv practice .
Jack Kramer and Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at .
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