Flu Season This Year: Flu Vaccines, Types of Flu & Flu Symptoms
Make sure to get your flu shot and read up on the types of flu, flu symptoms and other information, such as when to see a doctor. Think you have the flu and need medical attention? Schedule a virtual appointment with a UH doctor or visit a UH Urgent Care near you.
Flu Season is Here: Are You Ready?
With flu season in full swing, the number of flu cases and people seeking medical care for the flu or flu-like illnesses across the United States is on the increase, and we are starting to see this in Ohio.The dominant strain of flu this year is H1N1, also known as the swine flu, and accounts for nearly 90 percent of the flu cases. Another, more severe strain, H3N2, also is circulating, but is more common in the southeastern United States.
If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine, it’s not too late – flu season will last until the end of March and cases occur as late as May. This year’s seasonal flu shot is targeted at the types of flu that are the most common right now, as well as two other strains in circulation.
How long will it take to be protected after getting the flu vaccine? About two weeks. Some people who get the flu vaccine still get sick, but studies have shown that these people will have a less severe illness. And myth alert: You cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine.
To get the flu shot, contact your UH primary care physician, or, if you don’t have one, find a UH doctor online from the region’s largest primary care network.
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What to Do If You Have the Flu
Most people with the flu should rest at home and do not need treatment for flu. You can take over-the-counter flu medicine for symptom relief.
If you are in the group that is more likely to have complication from the flu (very young, over 55, pregnant or have chronic medical problems), your doctor may prescribe flu medicine called antiviral drugs for flu treatment. Antiviral drugs can make the flu milder, shorten the illness and may also prevent serious complications. However, you need to take the drug within 48 hours after symptoms appear. If you are in the group above, contact your provider or go to an urgent care to receive treatment for the flu.
When to See the Doctor for the Flu
Do not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill. But do go if you experience these emergency warning signs:
- In Adults
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- In Children
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Not drinking enough fluid
- Not waking up or not interacting
- Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
- Fever with a rash
- In Infants
Get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:
- Unable to eat
- Trouble breathing
- No tears when crying
- Significantly fewer wet diapers than usual
Learn more about flu symptoms in kids.
What is Influenza?
The flu is caused by viruses that are passed from person to person through the air.
Influenza in Children
Most children are ill with the flu for less than a week. But those with more serious illness may need to be treated in the hospital.
What is Acute Bronchitis?
An inflammation of the breathing tubes, it causes increased mucus production and other changes.
Test Your Knowledge About the Flu
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