Some Children Are At Higher Risk
Children at greatest risk of serious flu-related complications include the following:
Why Is The Flu So Harmful During Pregnancy
The flu can be dangerous during pregnancy because pregnancy affects your immune system, heart and lungs. Your immune system is your bodys way of protecting itself from illnesses and diseases. When your body senses something like a virus that can harm your health, your immune system works hard to fight the virus.
When youre pregnant, your immune system isnt as quick to respond to illnesses as it was before pregnancy. Your body knows that pregnancy is OK and that it shouldnt reject your baby. So, your body naturally lowers the immune systems ability to protect you and respond to illnesses so that it can welcome your growing baby. But a lowered immune system means youre more likely get sick with viruses like the flu.
Another reason the flu can be harmful during pregnancy is that your lungs need more oxygen, especially in the second and third trimesters. Your growing belly puts pressure on your lungs, making them work harder in a smaller space. You may even find yourself feeling shortness of breath at times. Your heart is working hard, too. Its busy supplying blood to you and your baby. All of this means your body is stressed during pregnancy. This stress on your body can make you more likely to get the flu. If youre pregnant or had a baby within the last 2 weeks, youre more likely than other women to have serious health problems from the flu.
Coronavirus Disease : Similarities And Differences Between Covid
English version updated 30 September 2021 – COVID-19 and influenza are both infectious respiratory diseases, and they share some similar symptoms. However, they are caused by different viruses, and there are some differences in who is most vulnerable to severe disease. There are also differences in how the diseases are treated. It is important to know the difference between COVID-19 and influenza to better protect yourself. This Q& A will help you know the facts about COVID-19 and influenza and make informed decisions about your health.
1. COVID-19 and influenza are both respiratory diseases.
Both viruses share similar symptoms, including cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, headache and fatigue. People may have varying levels of illness with both COVID-19 and influenza. Some may have no symptoms, mild symptoms or severe disease. Both influenza and COVID-19 can be fatal.
2. COVID-19 and influenza spread in similar ways.
Both COVID-19 and influenza are spread by droplets and aerosols when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks, sings or breathes. The droplets and aerosols can land in the eyes, nose or mouth of people who are nearby — typically within 1 metre of the infected person, but sometimes even further away. People can also get infected with both COVID-19 and influenza by touching contaminated surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth without cleaning their hands.
4. The same protective measures are effective against COVID-19 and influenza.
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Why The Evidence Was Limited
The relative lack of eligible studies on non-H1N1 pandemic influenza and on seasonal influenza before 1991 was surprising. Therefore the findings from the meta-analyses on pandemic influenza cannot necessarily be extrapolated to non-H1N1 pandemic strains, and the findings on seasonal influenza cannot necessarily be extrapolated to non-H3N2 and non-influenza B strains.
Variability in definitions of risk factors and the potential for differential ascertainment of risk factors possibly contributed to the heterogeneity in the affected comparisons. Differing lengths of follow-up may have also resulted in heterogeneity, and studies that were deemed to have an inadequate length of follow-up may have missed events and therefore biased the results towards smaller effect sizes. Owing to the differing length of follow-up used in the included studies, meta-analysis of hazard ratios instead of odds ratios might have reduced heterogeneity. In contrast with odds ratios, hazard ratios are more likely to be constant over time.21 Unfortunately, hazard ratios were rarely reported and thus meta-analysis of hazard ratios was not feasible. Another limitation of the data was inconsistency in outcomesâthat is, for a given risk factor we would have expected to see an increase in all types of severe outcomes. Thus when evaluating risk factors with inconsistent findings across outcomes, we downgraded the level of evidence.
Search Strategy And Data Extraction
We searched Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Global Health, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials up to 25 March 2011. The search strategy was created in collaboration with a librarian and included a combination of keywords and subject headings for all major concepts . We also searched reference lists of identified articles and review articles.
We screened titles or abstracts and full text articles, extracted data using a standardised and piloted electronic database, and assessed risk of bias. Pairs of reviewers independently conducted all the steps. A third reviewer resolved any disagreement between reviewers by consensus or arbitration.
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A Flu Vaccine Is The Best Protection Against Flu
Flu vaccination has many benefits. It has been shown to reduce flu illnesses and also to reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes that can result in hospitalization or even death in older people. Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
The best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications is with a flu vaccine. CDC recommends that almost everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year, ideally by the end of October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout flu season, even into January or later.
Flu vaccination is especially important for people 65 years and older because they are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. Flu vaccines are updated each season to keep up with changing viruses. Also, immunity wanes over a year so annual vaccination is needed to ensure the best possible protection against flu. Because immunity may decrease more quickly in older people, it is especially important that this group is not vaccinated too early . September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated for people 65 years and older.
When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider If You Have Influenza
Because of the importance of taking flu medicines within 48 hours of coming down with symptoms, call immediately if you think you have the flu. If you continue to feel unwell after you have been treated for the flu, you should call your doctors office. If you find yourself feeling better, and then getting sick again, you should also contact your doctor. The flu might have left you with some kind of secondary illness, like a sinus infection.
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Common Symptoms Of A Cold The Flu And Covid
The chart below shows common symptoms. Not everyone will have these symptoms. Your symptoms may be more or less severe, or you may only have a few. If you feel sick, stay home and call your doctor
- Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Staying home when you are sick
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
Surveying People With Chronic Conditions And Their Doctors
The NFID conducted two online surveys between Oct. 28 and Nov. 8, 2021, to get a sense of what the current practices and attitudes are around flu and pneumococcal vaccination.
The NFID also wanted to uncover what kind of communication currently exists between healthcare professionals and their patients living with these chronic conditions.
The two surveys were conducted by Wakefield Research and commissioned by the NFID. One survey involved 400 healthcare professionals .
The other survey included 300 patients who have been treated for diabetes, chronic lung conditions and cardiovascular conditions like heart failure, heart attack, and heart disease.
According to survey results, just 45 percent of people with chronic conditions reported receiving a yearly flu shot by early November, while 40 percent said theyplan on getting the vaccination during this current flu season.
The survey also showed that 75 percent of people who received or plan on receiving a flu vaccination are doing so to protect themselves, while 61 percent are doing so to protect their family.
Additionally, 62 percent said they are planning on getting it to avoid getting sick with the flu during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the NFIDs press release.
The survey shows 93 percent agree that an annual flu shot is the best way to prevent hospitalizations and deaths tied to the flu.
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What Are The Symptoms Of The Common Cold And How Do They Differ From Simple Influenza
Cold symptoms are limited to the nose and throat with runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, throat irritation and headache. The symptoms usually occur gradually and only rarely cause a high fever or body aches. In those with chronic respiratory conditions e.g. people with asthma they can make those conditions worse for a few days.
Uncommon and then low
Common and often a high fever
Aching muscles body
General malaise and lack of energy
Common but a minor feature
Common but a minor feature
Should People Who Are Immunocompromised Get A Flu Shot
Another misconception is that individuals with chronic conditions who may be immunocompromised may have a worse reaction to the vaccine because they are more vulnerable. Health officials say this is not so.
When we say that the vaccine is universally recommended for ages 6 months and above, we mean it, says Dr. Conway. The only group that should absolutely not get it again would be somebody with a genuine allergic reaction to the vaccine obviously, they should avoid it.
Older people and people with underlying conditions should really even be higher priority than others to get the flu vaccine, says Dean Winslow, MD, an infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in California.
The fact is, the flu can be much more disastrous for these high-risk populations.
People with asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and a number of other chronic health conditions are at a higher risk of developing serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death, per the CDC.
Indeed, during recent flu seasons, 9 out of 10 people hospitalized with the flu had at least one underlying health condition, the agency notes.
Being pregnant also puts you at an increased risk of more severe illness from the flu. This is due to changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs that occur during pregnancy .
The flu vaccine offers protection against the flu to both the mother and the baby.
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Flu & People 65 Years And Older
People 65 years and older are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications compared with young, healthy adults. This increased risk is due in part to changes in immune defenses with increasing age. While flu seasons vary in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease. In recent years, for example, its estimated that between 70 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older, and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in this age group.
/5children Younger Than 2 Years Old
Children below 2 years are more likely to get critical complications as compared to older kids. This is because their immunization is still developing and their body is not able to protect itself from foreign pathogens. As per the CDC, infants younger than 6 months old are often hospitalized due to flu and it can get fatal for some.
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Who Should You Get A Flu Vaccine And Which One Should You Choose
Flu typically spreads 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 immunity 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 that create a stronger immune response after vaccination. Talk with your health care provider or pharmacist about which vaccine is best for you.
Is There A Vaccine For Pneumonia
There are 2 types: pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for adults and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for children.
The adult vaccine protects against 23 types of bacteria that commonly cause pneumonia. Doctors suggest that healthy seniors over 65 get both vaccines. The timing and sequence in which you get them will vary depending on what vaccines youâve already had.
Some experts say adults younger than 55 should get both vaccines to boost their immune system. Although there is no evidence that the vaccine is harmful for pregnant women, as a precaution, women who want the vaccine should do so before getting pregnant. The pneumonia vaccine could also be helpful for people with:
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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:
The Flu Shot Is Your Best Defence
This years flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19. Dont take any unnecessary risks with your health. Get the flu shot as early in the season as possible.
The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months old and older. It is:
- available from your doctor or nurse practitioner, and at participating pharmacies and local public health units across the province
- proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu
- different each year because the virus changes frequently so you need to get it every fall
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/5these People Need To Take Extra Care For Quick Recovery
Coming down with the flu is never a great experience. The unexpected seasonal onset of flu can cause fever, sore throat, chills, muscles ache and can also make you want to bury yourself under the blanket. Even mild flu is enough to topple your life upside-down for at least a week. But the situation is not the same for all. Some people recover from it quickly, while others have to experience severe complications for a longer time. Your recovery depends a lot on your immunity and health condition. Some people are at a high risk of developing serious flu-related complications as compared to others. These people need to take extra care of themselves for quick recovery.