Every Flu season our doctors see many patients asking similar questions regarding symptoms and flu vaccinations. We wanted to answer some of those questions here for you.
What is the Flu?
It is an illness of the respiratory organs caused by a virus. It may produce cold like symptoms of more severity and include body aches, fever, and exhaustion.
How long is a person with the flu contagious?
Contagiousness begins within 24 to 72 hours of contact with the virus before symptoms show. This lasts until 24 hours after signs of a fever are gone.
What is the treatment for the flu?
Flu treatments do exist, but they must be administered within 48 hours of symptom onset. These treatments include prescription drugs Tamiflu and Relenza which can prevent severe symptoms and shorten the length of illness.
To alleviate symptoms, over the counter remedies include cough medicines, fever reducers, and pain relievers. These do not cure the flu but alleviate symptoms.
Should I see the doctor if I have flu symptoms?
Yes. Preferably within 48 hours to a doctor can prescribe one of the above-mentioned flu treatments. Also, consult a doctor if condition worsens or if the flu lasts longer than 48 hours.
Does the flu shot give you the flu?
No, you cannot. The vaccine is made of weakened parts o the virus meant to give you immunity. This vaccine can trigger an immune system response which may be similar to mild flu-like symptoms, but this is not the flu illness.
Who should get the flu shot?
Everyone over the age of 6 months especially children, elderly, those with chronic health problems, those pregnant, and those caring for small children and infants.
I got the flu shot last year. Why do I need another one?
Immunity from last year’s shot may have weakened. Also, the flu has many strains and the vaccine from last year may not protect against the prominent strains this year.
When should I get the flu shot?
ASAP. The season begins in October and first vaccines are available in September. Stop by AFC Urgent Care in Saugus today for your flu shot. No appointments necessary and we are open 7 days a week, offering extended hours for busy schedules!
Does the flu shot mean I will not get the flu?
All vaccines are not always 100% effective. However, the vaccine is shown t be highly effective and those who still contract the flu have shown to have a lesser chance of complications.