Key Facts about Influenza (Flu) & Flu Vaccine
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and 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:
· Fever or feeling feverish/chills
· Sore throat
· Runny or stuffy nose
· Muscle or body aches
· Vomiting and diarrhea (though this is more common in children than adults)
*It’s also important to note that not everyone with the flu will have a fever
Who Should Get Vaccinated?
Everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated each year. While everyone should get a flu vaccine, it’s especially important that certain
people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.
Other people for whom vaccination is especially important are:
· People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
· Heath care workers
Some people should not be vaccinated without first consulting their physician. They include:
· People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs
· People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.
· Children younger than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for use in this age group)
· People with a history of Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome.
Anyone who has a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.
If you have questions as to whether you should get a flu vaccine, consult your health care provider.
For more information, you may visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov