Don’t be caught off guard, beat the flu this season! Flu season can start as early as October. CHOC Children’s and the American Academy of Pediatrics urge that all children ages 6 months or older — that means practically everyone! — be immunized against influenza as soon as the vaccine is available. It is especially important for people who are at high risk of complications from flu to get the flu vaccine, including:
- Pregnant women
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with chronic medical conditions
- People who are immunosuppressed
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- Health care workers
Further, to protect a baby, who cannot get the flu vaccine, make sure that everyone in your home, as well as daycare providers get a flu vaccine. This reduces the likelihood of your baby coming into contact with this common and unpredictable virus.
Lastly, take everyday preventive steps to stop the spread of germs.
- Wash your hands often and use respiratory etiquette during flu season. There are many other respiratory viruses out there besides the seasonal flu, and the flu vaccine cannot protect against all of them.
- Use hand sanitizer.
- Postpone play dates with sick kids.
- Wear appropriate outdoor clothing.
- If you are sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.
Contact your pediatrician or health care provider to check when the flu vaccine is available.
More articles about influenza:
Between fever and body aches, your child really suffers when flu-stricken – but the virus affects more than just your child’s health. Did you know that staying home with the ...
How do you distinguish a common cold from the flu (influenza)? When late fall rolls around, the flu usually rolls in with it. “The first few days with a ...
It’s not too early to get the flu shot! The flu season can start as early as October, (peaks in January or February) and can last as late as May. CHOC ...
The United States is experiencing a record number of measles cases, with California leading the states in the number of individuals confirmed to have had the disease. While some community members don’t perceive measles as serious, health care providers and agencies encourage everyone to consider the ugly facts about the disease — and vaccinate.
Measles is Highly Contagious
Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It’s easily spread through coughing and sneezing. The virus can live up to two hours on a surface or in an airspace where an infected person coughed or sneezed. In other words, even after an infected person leaves a room, an unvaccinated individual could get measles as a result of breathing the contaminated air or touching the infected surface. In fact, 90 percent of unvaccinated individuals in close proximity to a person with measles will become infected.
Measles is Not Simply a Rash
Measles do carry complications, from mild to severe. The most common complications are diarrhea and ear infections, which can result in permanent hearing loss. Severe complications include pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children, and encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and leave a child with hearing loss and cognitive delays.
There is no treatment for measles. Vaccination is the best protection against the disease. Please talk to your health care provider about the importance of vaccinations for you, your child, and your community.
You might also like:
Measles is one of the most contagious infections. To prevent the spread of measles in a community, about 95% or more of the population must be vaccinated or immune.
Measles has now been confirmed in ten Orange County residents, in conjunction with the recent outbreak affecting California and more than 20 other states. The Orange County Health Care Agency reminds ...
Pneumonia, an inflammation or infection of the lungs, is a serious condition that can be prevented, a CHOC Children’s infectious disease specialist says.
“Pneumonia is a serious condition and can often ...