Offered by Kristine Waters Ray, MD, CAQSM, Premier Pediatrics
While fall brings color changes and cooler temperatures, it also brings the beginning of the “sick season” and Influenza. Below is some helpful information to keep you and your family healthy this year!
What is the difference between the common “flu” and influenza?
The common “flu” is typically used to describe a viral stomach illness that causes stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea; this is typically not caused by the Influenza virus. Influenza is a specific type of virus that causes a much more serious respiratory illness. Typical symptoms of Influenza include: runny nose, cough, body aches, headaches, high fevers and exhaustion. Occasionally people with the influenza virus will have vomiting and/or diarrhea. Influenza can lead to hospitalization if severe.
What is the best way to protect yourself from illness?
Whether trying to avoid a cold, a stomach illness or Influenza, the best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands often, avoid people who are ill and maintain healthy habits. To prevent Influenza, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly influenza vaccine.
Does the Influenza Vaccine work?
Yes, the vaccine prevents or lessens illness in people exposed to the virus. The Influenza vaccine is created each season to protect against the types of the virus that research predicts will be the most common for that particular season. It protects against 3 or 4 types of the virus and is offered in both shot and nasal spray form.
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