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All Things Influenza

Flu Season Is Here

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones From The Flu Virus

The Flu Vaccine

There are two types of flu vaccinations:

  1. The Flu Shot – an inactivated vaccine (containing the killed virus) usually administered in the arm. Approved for healthy persons 6 months and older as well as those with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, and kidney disorders.
  2. The Nasal-Spray Flu Vaccine – a vaccine made with live, weakened flu virus that does not cause the flu. Approved for healthy persons 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.

Who Should Get Vaccinated

While it is important for everyone to become vaccinated, there are certain people deemed “high risk” and should always become vaccinated. These people include:

  • Children 6 months up to 19 years of age
  • Pregnant women
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • Any persons with chronic illnesses
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for flu complications (health care workers, contacts and caregivers of children and elderly)

Protect Yourself

  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. *Did you know? Not all common anti-bacterial sanitizers and wipes protect against influenza. These protect against bacteria, not viruses like the flu. Make sure they are alcohol based with more than 60% alcohol content to be most effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, hands and mouth. This is the fastest way germs are spread.
  • Try to avoid contact with sick persons.
  • Practice good health habits. Stay active, get plenty of rest, manage your stress, and eat nutritious foods.

Symptoms

  • High fever*
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (more common in children)
    * Not all influenza cases develop fever

If You Get The Flu

If you become ill with the flu, you should remain home and away from others except for when seeking medical attention. To prevent further complications, drink plenty of fluids and manage your fever with fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

The CDC recommends that anyone who is infected with the flu stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever has gone away in order to prevent further spread of the virus and H1N1.

Be sure to sanitize common areas in your home as flu germs can live on surfaces for up to eight hours. Such surfaces can include doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, and remote controls.

H1N1 (Swine Flu) Information

This season’s newest strand of influenza in H1N1, or the swine flu. This virus is spread in the same way that the seasonal flu is spread, and its symptoms are generally the same as well. However, this type of influenza can cause respiratory problems without ever producing a fever. In most cases, people recover from H1N1 without seeking medical treatment. There are however certain persons who are at “high risk” of developing serious complications from H1N1. These people include adults 65 years and older, children under five years old, and persons of all ages who suffer from some chronic illness such as asthma.