Influenza, otherwise more commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by specific influenza viruses. The symptoms of having a flu include the presence of a high fever, chills, cough, and sore throat, as well as experiencing a running or clogged nose, muscle aches, headaches and fatigue. Some people that obtain the flue may also encounter nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Each of these symptoms may range from mild to severe, and can vary greatly from person to person.
While most people recover from the flu within approximately 2 weeks, other people can occasionally develop complications from the influenza virus itself. Such complications could include the onset of a pneumonia, bronchitis, ear and sinus infections, and more. For some, certain complications can become life-threatening, and may even result in death in quite severe cases. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that each year 5-20% of the United States population gets the flu. More than 200,000 of these people are hospitalized with complications from influenza viruses There are particular U.S. populations at a higher risk for complications from the flu. These include older or elderly patients, young children, pregnant women, and people already suffering from certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma.
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should receive the the flu vaccine for preventative measure. Flu outbreaks begin to happen as early as October, which means early vaccinations are not a bad idea for the utmost of protection. It takes 2 weeks after a vaccination to become fully protected. This means that now is the time to get your flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is currently available for our patients at Allergy & Clinical Immunology, including the high dosage for patients whom are over the age of 65 years. Receiving the flu vaccine is the number one way to protect against getting the flu. Hurry in to get your flu shot now, and stay protected all season long!