White Oak Middle School News

 

Flu Tips

Posted on: February 15, 2019

KNOW THE FACTS! Influenza (Flu)

 

 What is Seasonal Influenza?

Seasonal influenza, also known as the flu, is an illness that causes fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. It is usually spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing. Flu season in Ohio can begin as early as October and run as late as March. However, it is not uncommon for sporadic cases to appear all year long.

Most people who get the flu usually recover in one to two weeks, but the flu can be deadly. An estimated 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu each year in the U.S. On average, it is estimated that there are more than 20,000 flu related deaths – many of which could have been prevented with a flu vaccine.

Flu vaccines are designed to protect against the influenza viruses that experts predict will be the most common during the upcoming season. There are three kinds of influenza viruses commonly circulate among people today which include: Influenza A (H1N1) viruses, Influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and Influenza B viruses. Each year, these viruses are used to produce seasonal influenza vaccine.

 

How is the Influenza diagnosed?

A number of flu tests are available to detect influenza viruses in respiratory specimens. The most common are called “rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs).” RIDTs work by detecting the parts of the virus (antigens) that stimulate an immune response. These tests can provide results within approximately 10-15 minutes, but are not as accurate as other flu tests. Therefore, you could still have the flu, even though your rapid test result is negative. Other flu tests are called “rapid molecular assays” that detect genetic material of the virus. Rapid molecular assays produce results in 15-20 minutes and are more accurate than RIDTs. In addition, there are several more-accurate and sensitive flu tests available that must be performed in specialized laboratories, such as those found in hospitals or state public health laboratories. All of these tests require that a health care provider swipe the inside of your nose or the back of your throat with a swab and then send the swab for testing. Results may take one hour or several hours.

 

How is Influenza treated?

If you get sick:

1. Take Antivirals Drugs, if prescribed by a doctor

2. Take everyday precautions to protect others while sick

a. While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

b. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

c. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

3. Stay home until you are better

a. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

b. See Other Important Information for People Who are Sick.

 

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccine experts are again this year recommending that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.

While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, the CDC notes it’s especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

1. Pregnant women

2. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old

3. People 65 years of age and older

4. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions

5. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

6. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:

 Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 5 years of age with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children younger than 6 months of age (children younger than 6 months are at highest risk of flu-related complications but are too young to get vaccinated)

 Health care workers

 Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu

 

Hamilton County Health Dept

250 William Howard Taft Road, 2nd Floor Cincinnati, OH 45219 Phone 513.946.7800 Fax 513.946.7890 Web: HCPH.org Social Media: @HamCoHealth