How do YOU fight Flu? I know that not everyone is on the same page when it comes to the flu shot, and that’s ok. We can agree to disagree. For my family, the flu shot is something we do. I would rather get the shot that deal with sick kids, puking, aching, living in the bathroom for days at a time, and possible hospitalization. These are things that I’m seeing on the news daily now that flu season is upon us.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) message is clear: Get your flu vaccination if you haven’t yet, and if you are sick with flu-like symptoms, take flu antivirals if your doctor prescribes them. Early treatment with antivirals could keep you out of the hospital and even save your life. The one year that I did get the flu, I got the antiviral right away and I cannot believe how much it helped me! CDC scientists have looked very carefully at the use of influenza drugs in the clinical setting, and the conclusion is clear, they work but they aren’t being used nearly enough.
o CDC is encouraging anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to get a flu vaccine, it’s not too late. If you or someone you care for is at high risk for serious illness from flu (children younger than 2, pregnant women, adults 65+, people with diabetes, lung disease, or other chronic conditions), you should check in with your doctor right away if you have flu symptoms.
o Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Use commons sense—if you’re sick, stay home from school or work.
o If you get the flu and are at high risk for serious flu complications, prompt antiviral is really important.
o In summary, remember to “Take 3” actions to protect yourself and others from the flu:
1) Take time to get a flu vaccine every year
2) Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs
3) Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them
What to Know and Do About Flu
Did you know that seasonal flu typically peaks between December and February and can last as late as May? As long as flu viruses are circulating, CDC recommends vaccination.
This year is shaping up to be a bad one. The “H3N2” predominant strain is a particularly nasty strain of the flu virus, and in years where H3N2 has circulated so highly, there tends to be more hospitalizations and, sadly, more deaths.
Despite this year’s vaccine being a poor match for the H3N2 virus, CDC continues to urge people to get vaccinated since vaccination may still offer some protection. Furthermore, in many flu seasons, there are other strains of the virus that circulate late in the season that this year’s vaccine is well matched against.
Don’t Forget About the Flu
Flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death.
New Year’s resolutions often mean a commitment to health and wellbeing. While flu vaccination may not be a priority, it is critical for health, especially for people living with a chronic condition, pregnant women, young children, or adults 65+.
Annual flu vaccination is the first and most important step in protecting against flu and its potentially serious complications.
As of early November 2014, fewer than half of Americans had reported getting a flu vaccine.
The flu vaccine protects against three or four different influenza viruses, depending on which vaccine you get (trivalent or quadrivalent).
Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
Vaccination is particularly important for people at high risk of serious flu-related complications and their close contacts. (People at high risk include infants, pregnant women, kids and adults with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, and adults aged 65 and older.)
Even when some circulating viruses are different from the vaccine viruses, CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination as it may still offer some protection.
While this year’s vaccine may not work as well against the drifted H3N2 viruses, it can still protect many people and prevent flu-related complications.
If we have a severe season getting a vaccine that provides even partial protection may still be more important than ever.
Importance of Flu Antiviral Medicines
Antiviral drugs can be used to treat flu illness and prevent serious flu complications.
Treatment with antivirals works best when begun within 48 hours of getting sick, but can still be beneficial when given later in the course of illness.
Disclosure: This post is part of the blogger program by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)and The Motherhood, who compensated me for my time. Opinions shared here are my own.