Flu / Flu Shot Q & A
What are common flu symptoms?
Many people confuse the common cold with the flu as the symptoms can be similar. Symptoms common to both include congestion, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, and headache. When a person has a cold, he or she may feel run down and suffer from typical cold symptoms. With the flu, that same person will be unable to get out of bed, running a high fever for several days with severe body aches, fatigue, and weakness. There are over 100 known variations of the flu virus and it evolves each season, with new strains appearing every few years.
When do I call the doctor with flu or cold symptoms?
If a person already has flu or cold symptoms, call the doctor if any of the following severe symptoms are seen:
- Persistent fever lasting more than three days
- Painful swallowing, severe pain could mean strep throat
- Persistent coughing lasting longer than two or three weeks
- Persistent congestion and headaches as they can lead to a sinus infection
What is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is a shot which protects people from the flu virus. People typically get it in the arm. A nasal spray may also be available. The vaccine made from the three or four viruses which are expected to make people sick during the next 12 months.
Who should receive the flu shot?
Almost everyone, 6 months old and older, should get the flu shot. Some groups are at a higher risk of contracting the flu, including:
- Children, particularly those 6 months old to age 5
- Pregnant women
- Seniors older than 65
- People with preexisting health problems
- Travelers and those living abroad
People should not get the flu shot include:
- Children under 6 months
- People very allergic to the flu shot or its ingredients
Talk to the doctors at Premier Family Medical prior to receiving the shot if any of these symptoms are present:
- If you are feeling unwell
- An allergy to eggs or possibly an ingredient in the vaccine
- A history of Guillainn-Barre syndrome