Believe it or not, influenza season is right around the corner. With this
in mind, the healthcare community and the Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) encourage people to get vaccinated for the virus.
There is a common misconception that when you are sick to your stomach,
you have ‘the flu.’ Although nausea can be a sign, influenza
is actually a contagious respiratory virus that develops more quickly
than a cold.
- fever or feeling feverish/chills
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle or body aches
- fatigue (tiredness)
Stop the spread of influenza...
Getting an influenza vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting
against the virus. To help stop the spread of influenza and other diseases,
the CDC suggests also taking the following actions.
- If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours
after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
- Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to prevent the spread of germs.
If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or into your upper
sleeve or elbow, not in your hands.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces at home, work or school,
especially when someone is ill.
- If you do come down with influenza, remember that there are antiviral medications
that may make your illness more mild, and may help you feel better faster.
The medicine needs to be started within 48 hours of when your symptoms
first begin, so be sure to act quickly!
Flu vaccines cannot cause the flu. The viruses found in vaccines are either
killed or weakened. Vaccines are safe, and serious problems from the flu
vaccine are very rare. The most common side effect that is reported is
soreness at the injection site, which only lasts for a few days.
Even with the vaccine, there is still a chance that you could get sick
with influenza. There are several reasons for why this can happen.
It takes about two weeks for the influenza vaccine to take effect. During
that time, or shortly before you received the vaccine, you may have been
exposed to an influenza virus. If you were exposed, this could result
in you becoming ill with influenza before the vaccine begins to protect
you. Also, the vaccination does not protect you from every possible strain
of virus that is out there. You can become sick if you are exposed to
an influenza virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine.
The influenza virus changes constantly from year to year, and also can
change within the course of one flu season. Before the influenza season
arrives each year, experts pick which strains of the virus to include
in the next year’s vaccine. Since this is done months in advance,
it is not possible to predict which influenza strain will be most active
during the upcoming season. It’s possible, then, that the produced
vaccine won’t completely protect against all strains of the influenza
virus that are circulating during the influenza season.
Unfortunately, there are some cases where people who were vaccinated become
infected with an influenza virus that the vaccine was designed to protect
against. The protection provided by influenza vaccinations can vary widely,
due to each person’s health, age and other factors. In general,
the vaccine works best among young, healthy adults and older children.
The 2017-2018 flu season was one of the most severe on record, according
to the CDC. Because of the impact influenza can have on the young, the
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children six months
and older be vaccinated.
Influenza vaccination is not a perfect tool, but it is the best one currently
available to prevent influenza. However, if a vaccinated person does come
down with influenza, it is likely that he or she will have a less severe
case of influenza, thanks to the vaccination.
How Mile Bluff is helping...
Mile Bluff Medical Center exists to provide care at its best; and quality
and safety initiatives are always top-of-mind. One step the organization
has taken to help decrease the risk of spreading influenza, is requiring
vaccinations for all employees and volunteers.
By being vaccinated, staff members are taking a proactive step in helping
to significantly reduce the risk of spreading illness. It is a benefit
for the employees, their family members, their co-workers, and for the
individuals who entrust their care to Mile Bluff.
As a healthcare organization, it is crucial to take every available precaution
to shield patients and residents from harm. Mandatory influenza vaccination
for employees is just another step in the continuing effort to provide
care at its best.
Mile Bluff remains committed to helping everyone stay protected from influenza.
If you have any further questions about influenza, would like to schedule
an appointment to see a healthcare provider, or would like to receive
the influenza vaccine,
view our locations and call to make an appointment.