flu shots commack and massapequa ny

Long Island Flu Cases Increasing As Influenza Season Peaks

Hacky cough, runny, congested nose, sore throat, body aches, fever, chills, headache – the flu is misery. It’s not just a cold. It hits hard and fast and knocks you down.

Influenza is also preventable. All you have to do is get a flu shot. You’ll be protecting not only yourself but also your family, your neighbors, your co-workers, everyone you meet. The more vaccinations there are, the fewer flu cases there are. It’s that simple. While the flu shot isn’t guaranteed to prevent the illness, you are much more likely to have a mild case. The flu vaccine does not cause flu.

READ MORE ON THE FLU SHOT HERE

By the middle of December, the state of New York had confirmed more than 8000 cases of influenza. The actual number of cases is much higher for a number of reasons. Many people simply stay home and suffer through it. They never see the doctor. In other cases, the physician treats on the basis of the symptoms and doesn’t test. The CDC recommends that once a local area establishes that influenza is present, a doctor should treat, based on the clinical picture. Flu testing is only recommending in patients at high risk. In addition, the test for flu is only 40-60% accurate. Half the tests come up with a false negative.

Of the 8253 confirmed cases of influenza, 1109 were in Nassau County with another 411 in Suffolk County. Nearly one-fifth of the flu cases in New York are on Long Island.

Young, healthy people, who catch the virus, will generally get sick and be miserable for about a week, with a cough that can linger for over a month. However, people with chronic illnesses, seniors, children, babies, and pregnant women are all at risk for complications of influenza. Children, especially are likely to develop ear infections because of the swelling of the back of the throat, which blocks drainage from the middle ear. Healthy adults can come down with sinus infections, or even pneumonia, during or after a case of influenza.

Pneumonia, associated with flu, can be very serious, even deadly. In addition, there are other severe complications. The heart can become inflamed, causing a condition called myocarditis, which can be fatal. The brain can also become inflamed, which is called encephalitis. Severe cases are also fatal. When the inflammation is in muscle tissue, the condition is called myositis. Severe cases, called rhabdomyolysis, can cause kidney and respiratory failure and death. The flu can kill.

The CDC reported in mid-December that there had been 3.7 million confirmed cases of influenza across the United States. And the numbers are rising. Health care workers are becoming overloaded with flu cases in the offices, clinics and hospital ERs around the country.

By December 13, 170.7 million doses of influenza vaccine had been dispensed to physicians and health care providers in America. More doses are being sent out every day. It is imperative to get those individuals, who are at risk for complications, vaccinated. Kids and seniors are often exposed more than other people in schools and elder care and nursing facilities. They are also the groups who are most likely to develop fatal complications.

The flu season is just starting to peak. The cases on Long Island and across the country are going to increase. Getting vaccinated protects you from severe illness and most vaccinated people never get sick. Getting your kids vaccinated protects them and all the children they go to school with. The influenza vaccine does not cause illness. It protects you from illness. It is not too late to get a flu shot. Do it today.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FLU SEASON HERE 

flu shots commack and massapequa ny

2019 Flu Season: Flu Vaccination Information

Influenza is a viral disease that is highly contagious and can lead to a number of dangerous medical complications. Getting influenza can be particularly hazardous for young children, older people and individuals who have other medical conditions. To prevent influenza, the CDC recommends getting an annual flu shot, which is highly effective and can protect you from the most severe complications of the disease. Here are a few facts to keep in mind as you plan to get your immunization for the 2019 influenza season.

When Is Flu Season?

Influenza viruses circulate through the U.S. population throughout the year, but at certain times of the year, generally the fall and winter, these viruses become more prevalent. Flu season peaks from December to February, but you can still catch the influenza virus well into May. Individuals should receive their influenza vaccine early in the season, because it takes two weeks for the antibodies to provide protection against influenza.

Types of Vaccines To Protect Against Influenza

Influenza viruses come in many different types, and these viruses mutate quickly from one form to another. Vaccines are created to protect individuals against the most common forms of the influenza virus that are circulating among the population. Your vaccine may be “trivalent,” that is, designed to protect against three different forms of the virus, or “quadrivalent,” which protects against four of the most common types. Some vaccines are available to provide a boosted immune response against the virus, such as for older people. Nasal spray vaccine is available for individuals who cannot take the injected vaccine. Some types of influenza vaccine are made with small amounts of egg protein, which can be a problem for individuals with egg allergies. Vaccines that are created from cells, instead of egg protein are available for these patients. Talk to your physician about the best influenza vaccine for your and your family’s needs.

Expected Severity of 2019 Influenza Season

Scientists look to locations around the world, to see where influenza season has already occurred, as well as what type of influenza virus was prevalent in the previous season, to help them determine how severe it will be in the United States, The number of hospitalizations for influenza last year indicates that a more dangerous influenza virus may be prevalent in 2019-2020. Influenza always involves the risk of serious complications, and individuals should make a point of getting their shots before the season begins.

Benefits of Flu Vaccine

Your influenza shot can help prevent you from getting influenza. If you do get the flu, the shot can help you avoid the most serious symptoms. Flu shots are especially important in protecting children from the most serious complications of influenza. Your flu shot also helps to prevent complications if you have a serious, chronic illness. Pregnant women and their babies can be protected from the serious complications from influenza. Getting your vaccination also helps protect those who can’t get the shots, such as those who are too young, are allergic or have compromised immune systems, from being exposed to the influenza virus.

Symptoms of Influenza

Influenza causes a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including fever, generally above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, aching muscles, dry cough, persistent headache, fatigue, weakness, sweating, chills, sore throat and nasal congestion. If not carefully treated, either through self-care or a doctor’s attention, influenza can develop into signs of bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections and even heart involvement. Pneumonia is the most serious complication from influenza and can lead to death. If you do not experience improvement in symptoms over a few days, see your doctor immediately for additional treatment. Antiviral medications can help to reduce severe symptoms of influenza.

How To Help Prevent Influenza Transmission

You can help to avoid getting influenza and other illnesses this season by talking to your doctor about getting an influenza shot in September or October. Avoid crowded areas where germs can spread easily. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, and then throw the tissue away, or sneeze into your elbow. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, which is the prime way to transmit germs. Wash your hands frequently during the day with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Regularly clean work surfaces to remove germs. If you do get sick, stay home, and don’t return to school or work until your fever is gone for 24 hours. Stay at least 3 feet away from anyone who appears to be sick.

Because the viruses that cause influenza can mutate so rapidly, it’s hard to predict exactly which form of the virus will be prevalent during the season. Your best protection is to receive you annual flu shot, to ensure that you can avoid the most severe symptoms that can occur. Make sure everyone in your family that is eligible gets their 2019 influenza shot.

For more information on flu and flu vaccines, please visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

To schedule your flu shot for the upcoming 2019 flu season, contact Sisselman Medical Group today. We offer flu shots and vaccines at our Commack and Massapequa locations.