Influenza – It’s Almost Flu Season Again
The government and CDC continue their work to develop our plan to fight influenza and H1N1 influenza. They recommend giving the regular flu vaccine as soon as available (usually late September/early October). Then once the H1N1 vaccine is available, it will consist of 2 vaccinations, one month apart.
The CDC recommends persons born after 1957 get the vaccine. The most important to immunize are pregnant women, household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency personnel who have direct contact with patients, children age six month to 4 years, children and adolescents aged 5 – 18 years who have medical conditions that put tem at high risk.
Could I have H1N1?
Symptoms of infection with H1N1 flu virus are similar to those of seasonal flu, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue; but with some H1N1 infections it also includes vomiting and diarrhea.
How do avoid H1N1?
The virus can be spread by coughing, sneezing or touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching your nose or mouth. You are considered contagious beginning 1 day before the symptoms appear, and at least 24 hours after your fever has resolved.
When should I expect to feel like myself again?
Most people with flu recover within 1 – 2 weeks without treatment.
However, serious life-threatening complications can occur, such as pneumonia. If any of the following symptoms develop, call us immediately – shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, purple or blue discoloration of the lips, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, signs of dehydration (dizziness when standing, not passing urine, or in infants lack of tears or few wet diapers), confusion or less responsiveness than usual, seizures or convulsions, severe vomiting or unable to keep fluids down.
Please see more recommendations on influenza prevention in my April 30th blog post.