Influenza can be a mild or severe illness and can sometimes lead to death. The best way to prevent flu illness and flu-related hospitalization is to get your annual flu vaccination. Click on the image for more information.
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that typically circulate widely in the United States annually, from the fall through early spring. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.
All trivalent flu vaccines for the 2016-2017 season are made to protect against the strains A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Hong-Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2) and B/Brisbane/60/2008. Quadrivalent vaccines also include protection against a fourth strain, B/Phuket/3073/2013.
The nasal spray flu vaccine should not be used during the 2016-2017 season.
Signs and Symptoms of Flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone with flu will have a fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (feel very tired)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
Take action to fight the flu:
- Get Vaccinated: CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
- Cover: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash: Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand rub.Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Stay Home: Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading the illness to others
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can help treat your illness. Be sure and finish all the medication
For information on getting the flu vaccine check the Clinical Health Services schedule.
For additional information on influenza visit: www.texasflu.org