Flu Vaccines: Myths & Facts
MYTH:" The flu isn't a serious disease." FACT: Influenza (flu) is a serious disease of the nose, throat, and lungs, that can lead to pneumonia. Each year about 200,000 people in the U.S.A. are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die because of the flu or complications from the flu. Most people who die due to flu complications are 65 years and older. But small childreen less than 2 years old are also @ risk of being hospitalized because of the flu. MYTH: "You must get the flu vaccine before December." FACT: The best time to get a flu shot is October or November. But you can get vaccinated in December or later. MYTH: "The flu shot does not work." FACT: Most of the time the flu shot will prevent the flu. In scientific studies, the effectiveness of the flu shot has ranges from 70% to 90% when there is a good match between circulating viruses and those in the vaccine. getting the flu shot is your best protection against the disease.
The Flu: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the flu? The flu is a highly contagious disease that is caused by the influenza virus which infects the respiratory tract ( nose,throat and lungs). Unlike many viral infections, such as a common cold, the flu can cause severe illness and potential life-threatening complications in some people. How does it spread? The flu spreads easily from one person to another. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, tiny droplets containing the flu virus are released into the air. When you inhale these droplets can become flu ( this is knwon as "droplet spread"). A person can also catch the flu by touching an object that has infected droplets on it and then touching their own nose or mouth before washing their hands. Who gets the flu shot? Children between 6-59 months of age Children with high risk conditions & chronic diseases such as asthma, immune suppression, diabetes and sickle cell anemia just to name a few. Adults 50 years of age and older Adults with high risk conditions such as diabetes etc. Health-care workers Adults that take care of children,such as daycare workers and teachers. What can I do to protect my child against the flu? *Take your child to get a flu shot in the age range recommeneded, or talk with your child's doctor. *Encourage your child's daycare provider or teacher to get a flu shot. *Encourage family members and friends to get a flu shot. *Get a flu shot yourself. An ounce of prevention, goes a long way. Pat Billings, R.N.