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BlueNet SPECIALITIES
Internal Medicine

Influenza (Flu) Vaccine

Dont´let flu get you. Get Vaccinated!

Influenza (Flu) Vaccine
 
Influenza (flu) is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system, the nose, throat, and lungs. This virus occurs most frequently during the winter and spring, considered the “flu season,” and spreads quickly from person to person. Influenza is commonly known as the flu, but it is not like stomach “flu” viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting.
 
For most people, the flu resolves on its own. However, sometimes the flu and its complications can be deadly. High, spontaneous fever, constant chills, and shortness of breath are common signs of the presence of the influenza virus. People at higher risk for complications from the flu include:
 
  • Children under 5 years of age, and especially those under 2 years of age
  • Adults over 65
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Pregnant women and women in a period of up to two weeks after delivery
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People with chronic diseases, such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and diabetes
  • Very obese people, with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more
Although the annual flu vaccine is not 100 percent effective, it is still the best defense against the flu.

Symptoms
Initially, the flu can seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing, and a sore throat. But colds usually come on slowly, while the flu tends to come on suddenly. And while a cold can be bothersome, the feeling is usually much worse with the flu.
 
Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:
 
  • Fever above 38 ° C
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry and persistent cough
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Throat pain
How can I tell difference between a common cold and the flu?
Many cold and flu symptoms are similar in that viruses cause them. However, flu symptoms often flare up and reach very high levels or quickly lead to severe complications. Flu symptoms can last two to three weeks. However, there are clear signs that the flu is getting worse, including high fever, chills, and shortness of breath.
 
If you think your illness is getting worse, go immediately to the nearest health unit.

Causes
Influenza (flu) viruses are spread through the air in tiny droplets when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes, or talks. You can inhale the drops directly, or you can come into contact with germs on an object, such as a phone or a computer keyboard, and then transfer them to your eyes, nose, or mouth.
 
People who carry the virus can infect others from a few days before the first symptoms appear in the carrier's body until about five days after they begin. After that, children and people with weakened immune systems can spread it for a slightly more extended period.
 
Influenza viruses are constantly changing, and new strains appear regularly. If you've had the flu before, your body has already made antibodies to fight that particular strain of the virus.
 
If the flu viruses are similar to those you've been exposed to before, either from having the illness or getting vaccinated, those antibodies can prevent infection and lessen its severity.
 
However, antibodies against flu viruses that you have been exposed to in the past may not protect you from new subtypes of influenza, as they can be very different immunologically from those you have had previously.

Risk Factor´s
 
Some factors that can increase the risk of developing influenza or its complications are the following:
 
  • Age. Seasonal flu usually affects young children and older adults.
  • Living and working conditions. People who live or work in many residents, such as nursing homes or military barracks, are more likely to develop influenza.
  • Weakened immune system Cancer treatments, anti-rejection medications, corticosteroids, and HIV / AIDS can weaken your immune system. This can make it easier for you to get the flu and increase your risk of complications.
  • Chronic diseases. Chronic illnesses, such as asthma, diabetes, or heart problems, can increase the risk of complications from the flu.
  • Pregnancy. Pregnant women are more likely to develop complications from influenza, particularly in the second and third trimesters. In addition, women who are within two weeks of the postpartum period are more likely to have flu-related complications.
  • Obesity. People with a body mass index of 40 or more are at higher risk for complications from the flu.
 
Complications
If you are young and healthy, seasonal flu is usually not severe. Although you may feel miserable as it develops, the flu usually clears up within a week or two with no permanent effects. However, children and high-risk adults can develop complications such as the following:
 
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma flare-ups
  • Heart problems
  • Ear infection
Pneumonia is the most severe complication. For older adults and people with chronic illnesses, pneumonia can be deadly.

Prevention
At BlueNetHospitals, we recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone from 6 months of age.
 
Each year's seasonal flu vaccine provides protection against the three or four flu viruses that are expected to be most prevalent during that year's flu season. This year, the vaccine will be available as an injection.
 
Most types of flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein. If you have a mild allergy to eggs, for example, you only get hives if you eat eggs; you can get the flu shot without any extra precautions.
 
If you have a severe allergy to eggs, you should get vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a doctor who can recognize and control severe allergic disorders.
 
Control the spread of contagion
The flu vaccine is not 100% effective; Therefore, it is also important that you take steps such as the following to reduce the spread of contagion:
 
  • Wash your hands. Rigorous and frequent hand washing is an effective way to prevent many common infections. Or, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Hold your cough and sneeze. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. To avoid contamination of your hands, cough and sneeze into a tissue or the inner crease of your elbow.
  • Avoid the crowds. The flu is easily spread when people gather in child care centers, schools, offices, auditoriums, and public transportation. By avoiding crowds during peak flu season, you reduce the chances of contagion. If you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone to reduce your chances of spreading it to others.
When to see a doctor?
Most people who get the flu can be treated at home and often do not need to see a doctor.
 
If you have flu symptoms and if there is a risk of complications, see your doctor immediately. Taking antiviral medications within the first 48 hours after you first notice symptoms can shorten the duration of the illness and help prevent more severe problems.

Call us or visit us for a CheckUp if you have these symptoms!
 (624) 1043.910
 
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Why is COVID-19 testing important? COVID-19 testing will help you protect your family, your community, and yourself.

It will save lives!


 

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