Getting your yearly flu shot is the best way to protect against the flu. Receiving your flu vaccine reduces the chances of flu-related doctor visits during a time where hospitals are struggling with capacity limits.
If you’re unsure about receiving the flu vaccine, read on for answers to some of our patients’ most frequently asked questions!
What Is The Flu?
Influenza (the flu) is a respiratory illness, which means that it affects your airways. It is spread easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and even talking.
How Long Does The Flu Last?
When you get the influenza virus, it sometimes takes one to four days before you start noticing symptoms. This means that you could spread the flu to those around you before you even know that you're sick. Adults may be able to spread the flu for up to seven days after first becoming sick, and children may continue to spread the flu for even longer.
Is The Flu Dangerous?
The symptoms of the flu could range from mild to severe. If you get the flu, you may experience a sudden fever, cough, aches, and fatigue. People who are 65 years or older, those with certain health conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes), pregnant women, and young children are considered high risk and are especially vulnerable to the flu and its complications. Every year, thousands of people die in the United States due to the flu, and even more are hospitalized.
How Do I Protect Myself And My Family From The Flu?
Getting a flu shot each year is the best way to protect against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who is 6 months of age or older should get the flu vaccine every year.
Which Flu Vaccine Should I Get?
There are several different flu vaccines, and your pharmacist or other health care provider can help find the right vaccine for you. The CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine each year. The CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over another; the most important thing is that you get a flu vaccine every year.
How Effective Is The Flu Shot?
The vaccine formulation changes every year to try to "match" the influenza viruses that are spreading in our communities. The vaccine is more effective when it has a good match. Even if a flu vaccine was not well-matched, it is still beneficial to get vaccinated. If you do get the flu after vaccination, influenza illness may be less severe than if you had not been vaccinated. Getting vaccinated also helps to protect your community by promoting herd immunity.
How well the vaccine works varies from year to year. Overall, receiving the flu vaccine usually reduces the risk of getting the flu by between 40% and 60% among most people when the vaccine is well-matched with the isolated virus. Some people respond better than others to the flu vaccine and build stronger immunity. People that are older than 65 years typically build weaker immune responses to the influenza vaccine which is why there are special flu vaccines made especially for seniors.
If you have more questions, please visit the CDC Website or the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website for more information.
I might already have the Flu. Does Local MD treat flu symptoms?
Muscle aches, body chills, a runny nose, headaches, fever and fatigue, cough, nausea, or stomach pains are common symptoms of the flu.
The flu, also known as influenza, is a highly contagious respiratory sickness caused by a virus. The flu does not take sympathy on anyone and can come on strong and without warning. Recovery from influenza can take from 48 hours to several weeks.
If you think you may already have the flu, find a location and schedule a visit to see us!