White Oak Pediatrics

Your Primer for Flu Season & the Flu Shot

Flu season is upon us. This year’s flu is hitting the entire country right now. There are steps you can take to protect yourself from contracting this virus. Here are answers to some common questions about the flu season along with some important information regarding this year’s flu shot.

Are We Having a Flu Epidemic this Flu Season?

The flu epidemic in the United States is an annual occurrence; it’s what causes the phenomenon we call “flu season.” The phrase “epidemic” is often used to stir up fears about the flu, but that phrase largely refers to how many people become infected with a disease, in this case the Influenza Virus.

What are the Symptoms of the Flu?

The symptoms for the flu can overlap with the common cold, but they affect the body much differently, and each case of flu will demonstrate different symptoms. Therefore, it is possible to get the flu and have very different symptoms from someone else. Some of these symptoms include:

• Aches and pains

• Stuffy nose and sinuses

• Fever

• Coughing

• Sore throat

While this list is not comprehensive, these are some of the symptoms of the flu. These symptoms usually last between a few days to a week.

What Should I Do if I Get Sick?

One of the best things you can do is stay home and rest. Do not send your children to school, don’t go to work or interact with people with lessened immune systems. While most people will recover, there are high-risk group of individuals that can get very sick. Children, elderly, patients with weaken immune system or patient with underlying medical conditions are at high risk for severe complications from flu. If you believe you have the flu, you should contact your doctor. They may prescribe antiviral drugs to lessen the symptoms or shorten the course of the flu , but the best way to deal with the flu is to stop yourself from contracting it in the first place by getting a flu shot. So far this year 53 children have died in the USA from the flu.

When Should I Get my Flu Shot?

As soon as you can. Preferably today. The longer you go without a flu shot, the more likely that you will contract the virus and help it spread. Only by getting the flu shot can you give yourself an added layer of protection and help stop the spread of the flu.

Flu season is here and widespread in all states. There is still time to get your flu shot. Flu shots are an important aspect of your health and well-being, as well as for those around you. Help stop the spread of the flu by getting ahead of it this flu season; get your flu shot as soon as possible.