It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week! It’s NOT too late to get your flu shot!

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Established by the CDC in 2005, the week of December 3rd is National Influenza Vaccination Week. During this week, we highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.

The Flu is a contagious virus!

The flu is the real deal, folks! The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and can affect people of all ages, even those in good health. The CDC estimates that:

  • Since 2010, the flu has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses each year in the United States.
  • The flu results in between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations each year.
  • Influenza-associated deaths ranged from 12,000 to 56,000 between 2011 – 2013.

Protect yourself and get a vaccine!

  • Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this potentially serious disease.
  • A vaccine also protects people around you, especially babies, young children, older people and people with certain chronic conditions.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your T-Zone (eyes, nose and mouth).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (or a hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol).
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

Flu shots are available at many locations!

Visit your primary care physician (PCP) to get your flu shot today! If you don’t have a PCP, or need to find someplace to go, visit the CDC’s HealthMap Vaccine Finder to find someplace close to home or work.

Learn more

Visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2017-2018 Flu Season to learn what’s new this flu season.

For yourself and those around you, Tria Health recommends getting your annual flu vaccine!

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Stay Healthy This Flu Season!

Flu-shot---SmallThe 2017-2018 flu season is upon us.  It is important to begin getting your vaccination now.  The flu shot takes about 2 weeks to work.  Your immunity will last through the spring.

Here are five of the biggest flu season questions answered.

I’m healthy, Do I really need the flu vaccine?

Yes.  Influenza is a contagious disease which affects the lungs and can lead to a more serious illness.  The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone 6 months of age or older.  Some individuals are at more risk of complications of the flu vaccine and should consider vaccination including pregnant women, older people, and individuals with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

When is the right time to get the vaccine, can I get it too early? 

Now is the right time to get the flu vaccine.  Flu activity can begin as early as October and last well into March.  If the influenza virus is circulating, you should still get the flu vaccine.  Flu season can often last into the spring, and sooner you get vaccinated, the more effective it will be.

But can I get the flu from the vaccine?

No, you can’t. Flu vaccines  are developed using dead or weakened viruses that allow your body to develop the antibodies needed to fight the infection, but that won’t actually cause the disease. Flu-like symptoms can be related to other viral illnesses and you can potentially contract the flu virus while you are waiting for your immunity to build up from the vaccine.  You cannot catch the flu from the vaccine.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

The flu is a respiratory illness, and it’s usually spread through the air by people coughing and sneezing. The most common symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches and fatigue.  The flu is generally much more severe than the common cold, but the symptoms can be similar. The flu tends to develop very quickly and can cause much more severe complications like pneumonia or bacterial infections. A test can be done in the first few days of infection that can determine if you have the flu or a cold.

How do I prevent spread of the flu?

The most effective thing you can do to protect yourself from the flu is to get a vaccine if you haven’t already. Other important ways to help prevent the flu include: wash your hands regularly and cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.  If you do develop symptoms, stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the flu to those around you.

Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine No Longer Recommended for 2016-17 Season

Flu-shot---SmallThe flu shot is recommended every year for EVERYONE 6 months and older. It is up to 75% effective at preventing influenza in those who get the vaccine. Recently a new kind of flu vaccine became available, FluMist, which is the nasal spray version. This type of flu vaccine has been widely used since its creation, especially in children as it is not an intramuscular injection (into the shoulder). Unfortunately, the previous few flu seasons have shown this type of vaccination is less effective than the shots. Because of this information, it is recommended NOT to use FluMist as a means of influenza vaccination this year.

Review the updated influenza vaccination recommendations from the CDC to help keep your family safe this season. Learn how to spot the warning signs of the flu in your children by watching this video.

Fight the Flu

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Every year, 10% – 20% of Americans get sick with the flu leading to missed days at work, school and even hospitalization.  Flu seasons are unpredictable. It can begin as early as October and can last as late as May. During this fall season, protect yourself and your family from the flu by following these important tips.

Get your flu shot.
The best way to fight the flu is by getting vaccinated. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. It is especially important that seniors, pregnant women, and others with weakened immune systems or certain medical conditions outlined by the CDC get the flu shot.

Wash your hands & disinfect surfaces.
Germs are everywhere! Washing your hands and wiping down frequently touched objects and surfaces. Take time to wash your hands thoroughly by working up a good lather and scrub for at least 20 seconds then rinse with warm water. Alcohol-based sanitizer is a good alternative to hand washing.

Cover coughs & sneezes.
Germs and viruses can easily spread to surfaces and other people through the air. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.

Seek medical advice when feeling sick.
There is still a small chance you can catch the flu even if you get vaccinated. Pharmacists can make recommendations on choosing optimal over-the-counter products that can help manage your symptoms. Get adequate rest and hydration.

Talk to your Tria Pharmacist or other health care provider regarding flu related questions. For information about Tria Health, visit www.triahealth.com.

Fall Season = Flu Season. Get Your Flu Shot!

Flu Season is Here!

The leaves are changing which means cooler weather, hay rides, pumpkin carving, and unfortunately, flu season.  Influenza virus, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness that infects the nose, throat and lungs.  Flu seasons range in their severity and time course, but receiving the vaccination in October or November protects us against peak flu season in December and January.

Common signs and symptoms: Fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue

How it spreads: Influenza virus spreads via droplets when people cough or sneeze-Wash your hands!

Period of contagiousness:  People infected with influenza can spread the disease for up to 5-7 days

While some people only develop mild symptoms, influenza can lead to bacterial pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as heart failure, asthma, and diabetes.

The single most important thing we can do is get vaccinated against the flu.  The CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months of age receive a flu vaccine unless they have a history of severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine, have a moderate to severe illness with fever, or have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome.  If any of these conditions exist you should consult with your physician prior to vaccination.

Enjoy the fall season flu free and get vaccinated!