Flu Season

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Flu

It is Flu Season — Get Vaccinated!
Highlights
• Vaccine combines protection against H1N1 and seasonal flu.
• Traditional injection, nasal spray and the new intra-dermal injections are available (check with your health care provider)
• You may infect others 1 day before and 5-7 days after being sick
• It can take up to two weeks for the antibodies to develop after being vaccinated

What is the Flu?

The flu (also called influenza) is a viral infection caused by the influenza virus. It affects the respiratory system and can cause mild to severe illness.


Sometimes it can lead to death. Each winter, the virus spreads around the world. While it is possible to get the flu even when it is not flu season, it is less likely.
There are two main kinds of influenza virus are Type A and Type B. The strains are usually different from one year to the next.
Symptoms
If you have the flu, you might infect others one day before symptoms start and up to five days (sometimes more) after you become sick. This means you may be infecting others even before you know you are sick.
Symptoms usually start abruptly. They may include some or all of the following:
• High fever and chills
• Severe muscle aches
• Severe fatigue
• Headache
• Decreased appetite or other gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)
• Runny nose, nasal congestion
• Sneezing
• Watery eyes, conjunctivitis
• Sore throat
• Cough (can last for two or more weeks)
• Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
You may start to feel better in 7-10 days, but you may still have a cough and feel tired.
Diagnosis and Treatment
OTC cough and cold products should not be used to treat infants or children less than two years old. Rare but serious side effects have been reported. They include death, convulsions, rapid heart rates, and decreased levels of consciousness. Serious side effects have also been reported in children aged 2-11 years. Research is still going on for the safety of OTC products for this age group.
Diagnosis
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. Diagnosis of the flu is usually based on symptoms. In some cases, your doctor may take samples from your nose or throat to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment
Antiviral Prescription Medicines
Most people with the flu do not need antiviral medicine. If you have the flu, check with your doctor to see if you need antiviral medicine. You may need it if you are in a high-risk group or if you have a severe illness (like breathing problems).
Antiviral medicines generally may help relieve symptoms and shorten the time you are sick. They must be taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms. Antiviral medicines include:
Over-the-Counter Pain (OTC) Relievers
These medications are used to control fever and to treat aches and pains. Adults can use Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen.
Over-the-Counter Pain (OTC) Cough Medicines
Over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines, including decongestants, expectorants, anti- histamines, and cough suppressants , prescription cough medicines, and cough drops.

Patient-Centered Medical Home


The patient-centered medical home is a way of organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into "what patients want it to be." Medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patients’ and providers’ experience of care. NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition is the most widely-used way to transform primary care practices into medical homes. Learn More >>