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Offered by: Kelly Fausey, C.P.N.P. – Brighton Pediatrics, P.C.

October is a great time of year to think about contacting your physician’s office for your family’s annual influenza vaccination. The flu season is fast approaching with children back in school and cooler temperatures. Influenza is a respiratory illness that targets the nose, throat and lungs with moderate to severe symptoms, which can mimic a cold. However, the influenza virus is different than a cold due to the fast onset of symptoms and severity of complications that can occur. Influenza symptoms include sudden fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, fatigue and in younger children vomiting and diarrhea. Influenza virus is spread by droplets, meaning spread by coughing, sneezing and talking from an infected person. Influenza virus is most contagious in the first 3-4 days of illness; however, many adults can continue to spread the virus for 5-7 days. Children who have weaker immune systems can spread the virus for longer, around 7 days. Typically, it can be up to 2 days after being infected by influenza virus for the symptoms to appear. This can lead to the spread of the virus from many adults/children without realizing they are sick with flu.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates between 9.3-49 million people a year get sick with influenza virus (CDC.gov). The population most concerning for severity of illness from influenza are children under 5 years old, and more specifically children 2 years and under. Many children are hospitalized each year for complications from the influenza virus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone get an annual influenza vaccination to prevent the spread of the virus. Influenza vaccination can be given starting at 6-months-old. Brighton Pediatrics will be offering visits for influenza vaccinations this fall. Please contact Brighton Pediatrics for your child’s/adolescent’s yearly influenza vaccine.

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