Influenza (Flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It is responsible for causing mild to very severe illness. Some populations, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions are at higher risk of complications.
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.
Frequently Asked Questions
• When should I get vaccinated?
o You should get the flu vaccine before flu begins in your community. It takes approximately two weeks after a vaccination for antibodies that protect against the flu to develop in your body. Be sure to get a flu vaccine by the end of October.
• Can I get a flu vaccine if I am allergic to eggs?
o People who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg can get any licensed flu vaccine.
o People who have symptoms other than hives after exposure to eggs: (angioedema, respiratory destress, etc) can also get any licensed flu vaccine, but the vaccine should be given in a medical setting and be supervised by a healthcare provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.
• Do some children require two doses of flu vaccine?
o Yes, some children (6 months-8 years of age) do require two doses. Children in this age group who are getting vaccinated for the first time will need two doses, spaced at least 4 weeks apart.
• What are the symptoms of Flu?
o Flu is different than the common cold. This often comes on quickly. If you are sick with the flu you may have some or all of these symptoms:
Fever or feeling feverish/chills
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Kayla Tavernier, PA-C
Abbeville Area Healthcare Center