Flu Season is here again…

tissueThis year flu season came early. Many documented cases of influenza A were reported in Sarasota weeks before the official start of Flu season, typically October-May.

The flu is a highly contagious, respiratory illness that spreads easily when children are together in a group such as in day care or school. It is more dangerous than the common cold and can lead to serious health conditions such as pneumonia or bacterial infections. Every year children are hospitalized and some even die from the flu.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated. The vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months old and up. If you have a baby under 6 months old, it is important that all the caregivers get vaccinated.

Every year my kids get the LAIV nasal spray. They don’t like it, but accept that it is necessary. The Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine is a live but weakened virus that can’t get them sick. It can be given to people from 2-49 years old, who are not pregnant. It does not contain thimerosal or preservatives. It takes about two weeks to develop immunity and last a few months to a year.

Some common reactions could be

  • Runny nose, nasal congestion or a cough
  • Sore throat
  • Chills, fever
  • Tired/weakness
  • Headache

Flu viruses are always changing.  Every year’s flu vaccine is made to protect from the viruses that are most likely to cause disease that year. While flu vaccine cannot prevent all cases of flu, it is our best defense against the disease.

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