2017-2018 Flu Season

 2017-2018 Flu Season

Any cough and cold which is associated with high grade fever is called as flu. Flu is caused by influenza virus. Infection with the influenza virus causes sudden onset of a fever, chills, dry cough, and muscle aches. Other symptoms include headache, fatigue, sore throat, and nasal congestion.

Some children are more prone to severe illness from influenza, because of conditions such as diabetes, asthma, immunity problems, or being treated with immune-suppressing medications.  They are especially vulnerable to complications, and should get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

Please get a vaccination if you and your child have not yet had it this year. For a children <35 months pediatric dose (0.25ML) is given. Above 35 month of age adult dose (0.5ML) is given. Initially 2 doses are given 1 month apart (after 6 month of age) till the age of 9 years. Thereafter it has to be repeated annually. After the age of 9 years 1 dose is enough which has to be repeated annually.

Key Facts About Influenza (Flu)

What is Influenza (also called Flu)?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Signs and Symptoms of Flu

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms that usually start suddenly, not gradually:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in young children than in adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

How Flu Spreads

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

Period of Contagiousness

You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Although people with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins,  some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time.

Onset of Symptoms

The time from when a person is exposed to flu virus and infected to when symptoms begin is about 1 to 4 days, with an average of about 2 days.

Complications of Flu

Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

People at High Risk from Flu

Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.

Source: CDC


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