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Prevea Health

Monthly Spotlight - September

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Flu (influenza)

Corporate Health and Wellness Monthly Spotlight

What is the flu?

Although people often confuse influenza with the “stomach flu”, or diarrhea and vomiting illnesses, influenza or the “flu” is a serious viral respiratory illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza causes between 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 to 61,000 deaths every year in the United States since 2010.
Flu is very contagious and spreads in the U.S. each year, typically starting in the fall around October and continuing through the spring, often into May.
The flu is caused by a virus and spreads mainly by coughing, sneezing or close contact with an infected person.

Who is at highest risk of complications from influenza?

Although anyone can get the flu and potentially have complications resulting from infection, young children, older adults, pregnant women and those with other chronic illnesses such as heart disease, asthma, COPD or diabetes are at the highest risk of getting very sick from the flu.

What are the symptoms?

Unlike a cold, flu symptoms start suddenly, within a few hours. They appear about 1 to 4 days after a person is exposed to the flu. Symptoms may include:
  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills.
  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • Headache.
  • Tiredness.
  • Some people may have vomiting or diarrhea; this is more common in children.

What is the best way to prevent flu?

The single best way to prevent the flu is for those 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine EVERY year.
By getting your flu vaccine, you help protect not only yourself, but also your loved ones who may be at higher risk for serious complications or those who are unable to get the vaccine for themselves due to contraindications.
The flu vaccine cannot cause the flu.


Why do I need to get the flu vaccine every year?

New flu vaccines are produced every year to keep up with flu viruses that change rapidly over time. Antibodies to flu vaccine decline over time too – another reason to get a flu vaccine annually.

When should I get the flu vaccine?

Every year, as soon as it is available, which is usually in the fall. It takes about two weeks to be fully effective, so it is important to get it before flu season begins, if possible. However, you can still get vaccinated through the spring and beyond.

Where can I get a flu vaccine?

You can get a flu vaccine free of charge by visiting your Health & Wellness Center. More specific details for your business’s offerings will be communicated shortly.


COVID-19 and the Flu Vaccine

In a recent study, published by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (2021), found that those who were vaccinated against the flu were 20% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19. It is recommended to be vaccinated against influenza, in addition to COVID-19 and not to replace the COVID-19 vaccinations. You are able to receive both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same appointment.