The 2018-2019 flu season is upon us. It is important to begin getting your vaccination now. The flu shot takes about 2 weeks to work and your immunity will last through the spring. Here are two 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 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 the sooner you get vaccinated, the more effective it will be.
Do you have any questions regarding the flu vaccine?
Tria Health provides one-on-one confidential counseling with a pharmacist for any of your medication related questions. If Tria Health is currently a part of your healthcare plan, call the Tria Health Help desk today for any of your questions.
The 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.
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!