Here’s the flu season: symptoms, injections, and side effects

Picture of a woman resting on her bed

Because the change in seasons heralds cooler climate, it additionally means the beginning of flu season. How lengthy flu season lasts can differ, nevertheless it often begins in November and lasts till March or early April.

Right here we cowl widespread flu signs, potential unwanted side effects, vaccine suggestions, and solutions to widespread flu-related questions.

Most typical flu signs

After we discuss influenza (and a vaccine) we’re referring to the illness brought on by the influenza virus. Influenza is a respiratory virus to not be confused with gastrointestinal bugs typically known as “abdomen flu”. The most typical flu signs embrace:

  • Fever
  • physique aches
  • fatigue
  • Higher respiratory signs which will embrace coughing, congestion, or a sore throat

An individual is actually thought-about contagious when signs seem, however they’re more likely to unfold the flu earlier than they even discover signs.

Influenza vaccine suggestions 2022

Annually, flu vaccines are created primarily based on predictions about which flu strains could also be current within the upcoming flu season. Whereas these vaccines are very efficient, they aren’t all the time a 100% match.

“Predicting what flu season will convey is all the time a chance,” says Stephen Moring, MD, a major care doctor at Nebraska Drugs. “Because the COVID-19 pandemic – significantly with much less use of masks and the observe of social distancing – we’re involved that we may even see a extra important flu season this 12 months. We advocate vaccination to guard your self and your family members.”

As soon as you might be vaccinated, you get the complete quantity of safety after two weeks. Receiving the vaccine reduces your probabilities of getting the flu, the severity of your signs, and the danger of spreading the virus to others.

Flu vaccines are only in individuals underneath age 65. For these over 65, the vaccine significantly reduces the danger of significant sickness, helps preserve extra individuals out of the hospital and reduces flu deaths.

What if I’ve an egg allergy?

An egg-free vaccine is obtainable for these with egg allergy. In case your allergy is gentle, you possibly can safely obtain the common vaccine. In case you have a extreme allergy, discuss to your physician about getting the egg-free model.

How does the flu vaccine work?

The vaccine incorporates parts of the lifeless influenza virus in order that the immune system can reply to these particular proteins to provide antibodies. When the immune system sees the virus sooner or later, it ramps up the antibody response to kill it quicker.

When will the flu vaccine be obtainable?

The flu vaccine is now obtainable at native drugstores and Nebraska medical clinic areas by means of early spring. Our suggestion is to get it sooner quite than later.

“The most effective time to get a flu shot is when a flu shot is obtainable,” Dr. Moring says. There’s a two-week time interval between vaccination and full safety. Subsequently, we advocate getting it within the fall earlier than we begin seeing many sufferers getting sick.”

Relaxation assured, it’s secure to get a COVID-19 shot or vaccine concurrently your flu vaccination.

What if I all the time appear sick after getting a flu shot?

You may’t get the flu from the flu shot, however chances are you’ll expertise gentle unwanted side effects. It’s normal to really feel ache on the injection web site or have gentle signs for a day or two afterward.

Whenever you expertise gentle signs, keep in mind that your immune system is doing what it was designed to do: react to a overseas antigen and stimulate the manufacturing of antibodies that may struggle the flu sooner or later.

Frequent unwanted side effects embrace:

  • basic fatigue
  • injection web site ache
  • Sometimes, low grade fever

Physician’s recommendation? Take into consideration the timing of the flu shot. Plan it across the occasions of your life simply in case you are feeling some unwanted side effects afterwards.

Who shouldn’t get the flu shot?

Sufferers with compromised immune programs ought to seek the advice of their doctor to debate the very best choices obtainable to them. These with a historical past of Guillain-Barré syndrome and sure autoimmune problems and sufferers ought to keep away from getting a flu shot.

How do I do know if I’ve the flu or COVID-19?

Signs could be tough to differentiate. If signs persist for greater than a day or two, get a COVID-19 take a look at at residence or prepare to get examined. In case your signs embrace fever and physique aches, contact your physician.

For those who get the flu (even in case you have been vaccinated), name your physician inside 24 to 48 hours. Tamiflu remains to be obtainable as a therapy choice and needs to be began throughout the first few days of signs showing. Wait 24 hours after you develop a fever earlier than returning to highschool or work. Preserve your self and others wholesome by working towards wholesome habits to forestall flu and colds all season lengthy.