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Influenza Vaccine

​​Get ready for the flu!

The CDC issues a Health Alert during 2017/2018 Flu Season.


In the United States, influenza activity has increased significantly over recent weeks with influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominating so far this season. Missouri, like every other state in the nation, is reporting widespread activity.

Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) in general has been lower against A(H3N2) viruses than against other circulating flu viruses.  However, it is still important to get immunized and it is not too late! Various strains have been found on campus and those who have been immunized and contract the flu have less severe symptoms and are less likely to get complications.

  What is the flu?

  • Influenza is a contagious virus that infects the respiratory system, generally in the fall and winter.
  • The influenza virus changes its make-up from year to year, which is why a new vaccine is made every year.

How do people get the flu?

  • The flu is spread from person to person, mainly by droplets from the nose or mouth of people with the flu, when they sneeze, cough, or talk.
  • A person with the flu can be contagious (meaning they can pass it on to someone else) from 1 day before they get sick with symptoms, until 5-7 days after they start to feel ill.

Cold or flu?

How serious is the flu?

  • Influenza can range from a mild illness to a life-threatening one.
  • One of the most serious complications of the flu is bacterial pneumonia, a lung infection.

What can I do to prevent the flu?

 

The most important thing you can do to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated!

 
  • The injectable flu vaccine is made from killed influenza virus, so there is no risk of getting the flu from the vaccine.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) recommends that everyone 6 mos old or older get the flu vaccine every year.

 

What should I do if I think I might have the flu?

  • We are happy to see you at SHS to see if you have the flu and give you recommendations for care.
  • An evaluation for flu will include talking to you and examining you, and may or may not involve a rapid flu test. During times when the flu is common, it is not always necessary to have this test in order to be diagnosed with the flu.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, we recommend that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, to help prevent spreading the flu to others.
  • It is ok to leave home to come to SHS for medical evaluation and care, or for other necessities, but try to avoid close contact with others, or wear a mask over your nose and mouth. This helps prevent spreading the flu to others.

For more information, visit cdc.gov/flu, or flu.gov.

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