What Should I Do If I Get The Flu
If you think you have the flu, a good first step is to call or set up a telemedicine visit with your doctor, if you can. A virtual visit may suffice and your doctor could advise on next steps for testing, Dr. Gandhi said, to determine if you have the flu, Covid-19, both or something else.
If you do have the flu, you may be eligible to receive antiviral drugs that can reduce symptom severity, Dr. Gandhi said. Also, drink plenty of water and other clear liquids, take over-the-counter pain relievers if needed and avoid contact with others. If possible, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
What Kinds Of Flu Shots Are There
Flu shots known as “quadrivalent vaccines” protect against four strains of flu virus. These include two influenza A strains H1N1 and H3N2 and two influenza B strains. Previously, some flu shots protected against three strains, and were known as trivalent flu vaccines, but starting in the 2021-2022 season, all flu shots are quadrivalent, according to the CDC.
In addition to the standard-dose flu vaccine given through a needle, flu shots are available in several different forms. These include a high-dose version for those ages 65 and older a “cell-based” version that’s grown in animal cells rather than hen’s eggs and is approved for people ages 4 and older a “recombinant” vaccine that does not use the full influenza virus or chicken eggs in the production process and is approved for people ages 18 and older and a nasal spray, which is approved for healthy people ages 2 to 49, but not for pregnant women.
There is also a needle-free flu shot, delivered by a so-called jet injector, which uses a high-pressure stream of fluid to inject the vaccine, the CDC says. It is approved for adults ages 18 to 64.
Why Do You Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year
You need a flu vaccine every year for two reasons. First, flu viruses change and the flu vaccine is updated each year to target the flu viruses that are anticipated to spread that year. Second, the protection you get from a flu vaccine lessens with time, especially in older people. Getting your flu vaccine every fall gives you the best protection from that year’s flu viruses.
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What’s In The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
The nasal spray flu vaccine contains small amounts of weakened flu viruses. They do not cause flu in children.
As the main flu viruses can change each year, a new nasal spray vaccine has to be given each year.
The brand of nasal spray flu vaccine available in the UK is called Fluenz Tetra.
The nasal spray vaccine contains small traces of pork gelatine. If this is not suitable, speak to your child’s nurse or doctor about your options. Your child may be able to have an injected vaccine instead.
You can find a full list of ingredients in the Fluenz Tetra nasal spray patient information leaflet on the emc website.
Can A Flu Shot Make You Get Sick
It isnt out of the ordinary to react to the flu shot, as its simply a sign that your immune system getting to work protecting you. Common responses include a sore arm, headache, nausea, muscle aches or a mild fever. The vaccine itself is adapted every year, Dr. Ford says. So its very hard to predict, from one year to the next, if youre going to have a mild reaction, no reaction or a more problematic reaction.
However, if you do get sick after getting a flu shot, its not because of the vaccine. The only direct reactions to the shot are going to happen within the first 24 to 48 hours, Dr. Ford affirms. As mentioned before, if you get sick after that, people might think its related to getting the flu shot. But its just a coincidence.
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Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice
Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.
If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.
How Is Sinusitis Spread
You can get it the same way you get cold and flu — by breathing it in or passing it from your hands to your mouth after touching something. Viruses get in the air after someone who is sick sneezes or coughs. They also can be passed on when someone shakes hands with someone who is sick or touches a doorknob or anything else the sick person has touched.
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What Are The Possible Side Effects
Most people have no problems from the vaccine.
If you get the flu shot, you might have a mild fever and feel tired or achy afterward. Some people also have soreness, redness, or swelling where they got their shot. These problems arenât serious and donât last long.
Serious side effects are rare. If they do happen, it’s within a few minutes to a few hours after you get the shot. Call your doctor right away if you have trouble breathing, hives, feel weak or dizzy, or have a fast heartbeat afterward.
If you get the nasal spray, you might have side effects like a runny nose, headache, cough, and sore throat. These are milder and shorter than the flu.
Treating And Preventing A Sinus Infection
How you can treat a sinus infection depends on the cause of the infection, its duration and the severity. For example, if youre dealing with a form of bacterial sinusitis, your doctor might prescribe you an antibiotic. But if the infection is viral, the best course of action is usually to rest and let the virus run its course. In the case of chronic sinusitis, sinus surgery might be the most appropriate or effective treatment choice.
You cant prevent a sinus infection with a vaccine but you can reduce the frequency of your infections by learning to avoid the things that trigger them, such as certain allergens or irritants. Rinsing your nasal passages with saline and using a humidifier at home might also help reduce the frequency of sinusitis.
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How Can You Tell If You Have A Sinus Infection Or Covid
You cannot tell if you have COVID or a sinus infection just based on your symptoms alone. Some symptoms of COVID overlap with those of a sinus infection, but there are also symptoms that are specific to one or the other.
While the symptoms of a sinus infection mostly involve your respiratory system, COVID can cause a range of symptoms that affect other parts of your body .
Its also important to note that you can have COVID and not have any symptoms.
Can I Get Seasonal Flu Even Though I Got A Flu Vaccine This Year
Yes. Its possible to get sick with flu even if you have been vaccinated . This is possible for the following reasons:
You may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in you becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect you.
You may be exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine. There are many different flu viruses that circulate every year. A flu vaccine is made to protect against the three or four flu viruses that research suggests will be most common.
Unfortunately, some people can become infected with a flu virus a flu vaccine is designed to protect against, despite getting vaccinated. Protection provided by flu vaccination can vary widely, based in part on health and age factors of the person getting vaccinated. In general, a flu vaccine works best among healthy younger adults and older children. Some older people and people with certain chronic illnesses may develop less immunity after vaccination. Flu vaccination is not a perfect tool, but it is the best way to protect against flu infection.
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When Should You Cancel A Flu Shot If Youre Sick
The key is paying close attention to your symptoms and determining whether youre on the upswing or downswing of that arc. If youre getting better and your flu shot is scheduled for the next day, youre probably fine, Dr. Ford says. If youre still feeling bad or getting worse, then that might be the time to at least check with your doctor about whether you should proceed.
Erring on the side of caution and postponing your appointment until you feel better is never a bad idea, however. Flu shots are widely available in doctors offices, Dr. Ford says. Theyre in all the pharmacies. If youre not sure if you should go ahead and get it, it really isnt a big deal if you delay it by a day or two.
Can You Get A Flu Shot If Youre Sick
It depends. The general guidance is it depends on how sick you are, says Donald Ford, MD, MBA, Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. If you have a mild illness or a cold what we normally think of a routine viral infection theres absolutely no reason why you cant go ahead and get your flu shot, which is protection against a more severe viral infection.
However, if you have a fever which for adults is classified as a temperature over 100.4° F or are otherwise feeling unlike yourself, Dr. Ford recommends rescheduling for another day.
The temperature is one marker, he says. If youre sick enough that youre staying home from work, if youre having trouble keeping food down or staying hydrated, those would be all reasons to at least postpone it.
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S To Avoid Sinus Pain And Congestion
Colds, flu, allergens, and pollutants are the most common causes of sinus pain. Learn 10 steps you can take to avoid a sinus infection and the congestion it causes.
Sinus pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention. Each year, more than 37 million Americans experience sinusitis symptoms like sinus pain, nasal congestion, and thick nasal discharge, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. Those numbers are growing because of an increase in pollutants, along with a resistance to antibiotics.
What causes sinus pain and congestion? The number one cause is allergies, says Jyoti Gopal, MD, a family practice physician with the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Some people have seasonal allergies and are bothered most during the spring and fall, when the pollen counts are high, she says, while others have year-round allergies that continually trigger their sinus pain and congestion.
Other causes of sinus pain, pressure, and congestion include:
- Pollutants. Air pollution, cigarette smoke, and chemical irritants such as pesticide sprays and household cleaners can inflame the sinus linings.
- Polyps. These are sac-like growths of inflamed tissue on the lining of the sinuses.
- Anatomical issues. A structural problem such as a deviated septum or nasal bone spur can prevent mucus from draining out of the sinus, Gopal says.
Sinus Pain and Congestion: How to Avoid It
Can You Get The Covid
âAs per the CDC, there is no good evidence that acute illness makes a vaccine less effective or increases adverse effects,â says Dr. Robert Cole, MD, an intensive care medicine specialist in Camden, New Jersey, and author of How to Build a Smile. âHowever, as a precaution, the current recommendation is to delay vaccination if someone has any acute moderate or severe illness. In other words, if you have a mild cough, runny nose, or diarrhea, but are COVID negative, you can get the vaccine. Additionally, if you are taking antibiotics, you can also still get vaccinated safely.â
However, if you can wait to get vaccinated, you might want to do so. âIf you are sick, it would be best to wait to get the COVID vaccine until you are fully recuperated,â Dr. Soma Mandal, MD, a board-certified internist at Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, tells Bustle. âThis is because the COVID-19 vaccine can potentially cause body aches, fever, fatigue, headache, joint and muscle pain, which can make the symptoms of an existing upper respiratory infection worse.â Why pile on more feeling sick if you can avoid it?
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Who Should Not Get A Flu Vaccine
Children younger than 6 months cannot get a flu shot. Those who’ve had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past should not get that type of flu shot again, and should speak with their health care provider about whether they can receive another type of flu shot, the CDC says. Similarly, people who’ve had a life-threatening reaction to ingredients in flu vaccines besides egg proteins shouldn’t get flu vaccines with those ingredients, and should speak with their health care provider about whether there is a flu vaccine that’s right for them, the CDC says.
People with egg allergies can still receive any type of flu shot that’s recommend for their age group, even if the flu shot is made with egg-based technology , the CDC says. Studies have found that people with egg allergies are very unlikely to experience a severe reaction to flu vaccines. People who’ve had a severe allergic reaction to egg should get their flu shot under the supervision of a health care provider who can treat severe allergic reactions, the CDC says. In addition, several types of flu shots are egg-free, including recombinant flu vaccines and cell-based flu vaccines.
You should not get the flu vaccine if you have a high fever.
However, if you have minor illness, like a mild cold or a headache, you can still get a flu shot, Schaffner said. “The vaccine does perfectly well in those folks.”
Who Is Most At Risk
Flu can affect you at any age, but some people are more at risk thanothers.
You are strongly advised to get the flu vaccine if you are:
- 50 years or older
- Aged from 2 to 17
- Living with a long-term health condition
- Living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
- A carer
- In regular contact with pigs or poultry
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Should I Go To The Doctor To Make Sure My Symptoms Are *not* Covid
Both experts agree that if you have any of the symptoms above, you should check in with your health care provider. However, this doesn’t mean you need to actually go see your doctor just yet.
“A lot of doctors office are offering telemedicine, which may be a good way to reduce your exposure, along with the health care providers exposure,” says Dr. Shanker-Patel. “Most have protocols in place to try to discern these types of infections from one another, so your best bet is to discuss any and all symptoms with them, and they can provide you with the best guidance.”
A few things to think about before doing a telemedicine check-in that can also help you gauge whether you could have COVID: “Have you been exposed to someone that was sick? Have you done any recent travel?” says Dr. Del Signore. “Considering those that you have been around and plan to be around if you’re not feeling well are also important screening factors.”
The bottom line: The symptoms of a sinus infection and COVID-19 may appear similarly in some cases, so check in with your doctor if you are concerned you’ve been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
When Should I Call The Doctor About A Cold Or Sinus Infection
Most colds go away without medical treatment. If you have pain around your face or eyes, along with thick yellow or green nasal discharge for more than a week, check with your doctor. Also call them if you have fever or symptoms that are severe or don’t get better with over-the-counter treatments.
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How Effective Is The Nhs Flu Immunisation Programme
The flu vaccine works better in some years than others . In children aged 2-17, the flu vaccine prevented 66% of flu cases in 2016-17, 27% of flu cases in 2017-18, 49% of flu cases in 2018-19 and 45% of flu cases in 2019-20 .
The aim is to protect children and also people around them, particularly those at risk of complications of flu. If children get flu they can remain infectious for longer than adults , and they are also more likely to pass on the infection. There is good evidence to show that vaccinating children against flu is a good way to reduce flu-related illness, GP visits, hospital admissions and deaths for the whole community.
Overall, since the programme began, the impact of the nasal flu vaccine has been greatest in pilot areas of the UK where children in all primary school years have been offered vaccination. This includes the whole of Scotland and Northern Ireland. In 2015 Public Health England published a study evaluating the impact of these flu vaccination pilot programmes in 2014-15 . The study showed that the programme in the pilot areas had a significant impact on flu in children and the community as a whole. For the 2021-22 season, the nasal flu vaccine is being offered to all primary and secondary school aged children in England, in response to the ongoing research on the community impact of this programme.