There Has Been At Least 1,300 Flu Deaths In The U.S. So Far This Season
Just months into flu season, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 1,300 people have already died from the flu. The deaths of 10 children have been confirmed. The agency estimates there have been at least 2.6 million cases and 23,000 hospitalizations from the virus.
Experts have warned that this season is particularly aggressive because of the early emergence of the influenza B strain, which typically appears toward the end of the season.
Aside from washing hands and avoiding people who are sick, the CDC says it’s key for everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated. And even if it won’t prevent all cases of the flu, it will lessen the severity and shorten the duration of flu. Symptoms of the flu can include fever, chills, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
If you do have the flu, the good news is that it’s unlikely you’ll also get a cold. Scientists believe that influenza has a negative reaction to rhinovirus, the virus that causes the common cold. Why that happens, though, is still a mystery.
𝗙𝗟𝗨 𝗩𝗔𝗖𝗜𝗡𝗘 𝗠𝗜𝗦𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗖𝗘𝗣𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦-
𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝗮 𝗳𝗹𝘂 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗹𝘂?
No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle (i.e., flu shots) are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with:
a) flu viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ (killed) and are therefore not infectious, or
b) using only a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) in order to produce an immune response without causing infection. This is the case for recombinant influenza vaccines.
𝗔𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗹𝘂 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀?
For the 2019-2020 flu season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual influenza (flu) vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, influenza vaccine that is appropriate for the recipient’s age and health status, including inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV), or live attenuated nasal spray influenza vaccine (LAIV4) with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.
𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙫𝙖𝙘𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝙤𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 6 𝙢𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙝𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙡𝙙𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙤 𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙖 𝙛𝙡𝙪 𝙫𝙖𝙘𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧. 𝙄𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙘𝙝 𝙫𝙖𝙘𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙮𝙤𝙪, 𝙩𝙖𝙡𝙠 𝙩𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙙𝙤𝙘𝙩𝙤𝙧 𝙤𝙧 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝 𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙛𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡.
𝗜𝘀 𝗶𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗹𝘂 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗹𝘂 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲?
No! Flu can be a serious disease, particularly among young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults. Therefore, getting vaccinated is a safer choice than risking illness to obtain immune protection.
𝗗𝗼 𝗜 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝗮 𝗳𝗹𝘂 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿?
Yes! CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone 6 months and older, even when the viruses the vaccine protects against have not changed from the previous season. The reason for this is that a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get the “optimal” or best protection against the flu.
𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗱𝗼 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗴𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗳𝗹𝘂 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲?
Some people report having mild reactions to flu vaccination. The most common side effects from flu shots are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. Low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches also may occur. If these reactions occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days. In randomized, blinded studies, where some people get inactivated flu shots and others get salt-water shots, the only differences in symptoms was increased soreness in the arm and redness at the injection site among people who got the flu shot. There were no differences in terms of body aches, fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat.
Side effects from the nasal spray flu vaccine may include: runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, fever, sore throat and cough. If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after vaccination and are mild and short-lived. The most common reactions people have to flu vaccines are considerably less severe than the symptoms caused by actual flu illness.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗹𝘂 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲?
Serious allergic reactions to flu vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. While these reactions can be life-threatening, effective treatments are available.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗮 𝘀𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗳𝗹𝘂 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗳𝗹𝘂 𝘀𝘆𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗼𝗺𝘀?
There are several reasons why someone might get a flu symptoms, even after they have been vaccinated against flu.
One reason is that some people can become ill from other respiratory viruses besides flu such as rhinoviruses, which are associated with the common cold, cause symptoms similar to flu, and also spread and cause illness during the flu season. The flu vaccine only protects against influenza, not other illnesses.
Another explanation is that it is possible to be exposed to influenza viruses, which cause the flu, shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period after vaccination that it takes the body to develop immune protection. This exposure may result in a person becoming ill with flu before protection from the vaccine takes effect.
A third reason why some people may experience flu like symptoms despite getting vaccinated is that they may have been exposed to a flu virus that is very different from the viruses the vaccine is designed to protect against. The ability of a flu vaccine to protect a person depends largely on the similarity or “match” between the viruses selected to make the vaccine and those spreading and causing illness. There are many different flu viruses that spread and cause illness among people.
The final explanation for experiencing flu symptoms after vaccination is that the flu vaccine can vary in how well it works and some people who get vaccinated may still get sick.
𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝘃𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘁𝘄𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗮𝗱𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆?
In adults, studies have not shown a benefit from getting more than one dose of vaccine during the same influenza season, even among elderly persons with weakened immune systems. Except for some children, only one dose of flu vaccine is recommended each season.
Carolyn Bridges et al. (2000). Effectiveness and cost-benefit of influenza vaccination of healthy working adults: A randomized controlled trialexternal icon.
Kristin Nichol et al. (1995). The effectiveness of vaccination against influenza in healthy working adultsexternal icon. New England Journal of Medicine. 333(14): 889-893.
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