Brace Yourself, Flu Season is Coming

Brace Yourself, Flu Season is Coming

The flu(influenza) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that spread mostly from person to person. Early symptoms can include fever, chills, sore throat, and body aches. For most people, the flu resolves on its own, but sometimes, the flu and its complications can be deadly. Complications of the flu can include pneumonia, heart problems, and asthma exacerbation. For the 2018-2019 flu season, the CDC estimated that the flu viruses caused 40 million illnesses, 20 million medical visits, 600,000 hospitalizations and 60,000 deaths in the United States.  

People with the flu can spread it to others up to 6 feet away. They can be contagious 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 days after becoming sick. Young children and people with a weakened immune system can be contagious for an even longer time. 

The best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. The CDC recommends the flu vaccine to everyone older than 6 months. While the flu vaccine is not 100% effective, studies have shown that vaccination can decrease the severity and duration of the flu. 

There have been claims that the vaccination causes autism. However, there is a lack of evidence for these claims. Multiple large epidemiologic studies and systemic reviews do not support an association between vaccination and autism.

Another common misconception is getting the flu from the vaccine. In the United States, the flu shot contains the inactivated flu viruses. This means that it is impossible to get the flu from the vaccine. However, you can get some soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given. 

Make your appointment to get your flu shot now at internalmedicine.continuumtx.com