Are There Side Effects
Possible side effects vary between the flu shot and the nasal vaccine. The most typical side effect of the shot involves a local skin reaction. The skin immediately surrounding the shot area may swell, ache, redden, and become tender. This reaction typically clears up in one to two days.
Did the Flu Shot Cause My Illness?
It’s not likely. Studies comparing people who took the flu shot with people who took a placebo showed no difference as far as who developed symptoms like fever, runny nose, and body aches. Some people who receive the shot have been or will be infected by a common cold virus or some other illness. Also, some people are infected with flu before the shot has become fully effective .
Side Effects of the Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
The nasal spray flu vaccine may cause side effects different from the injection, including vomiting, fever, and headache, as well as common cold symptoms like runny nose and sore throat. When these occur, they are usually much less severe than comparable symptoms found during a flu infection.
Serious Side Effects
Allergic reactions are the most serious side effects of flu vaccination. They are very rare. Anaphylactic reactions can be fatal, but they can also be effectively treated. The CDC recommends flu shots even for those with known egg allergies, provided these patients are monitored following the injection.
What Are The Types Of Flu Vaccines
Two types of flu vaccine are available for the 20202021 flu season. Both protect against the four types of influenza virus that are causing disease this season::
- the flu shot, which is injected with a needle
- the nasal spray, a mist which gets sprayed into the nostrils
In the past, the nasal spray vaccine wasn’t recommended for kids because it didn’t seem to work well enough. The newer version appears to work as well as the shot. So either vaccine can be given this year, depending on the child’s age and general health.
The nasal spray is only for healthy people ages 249. People with weak immune systems or some health conditions and pregnant women should not get the nasal spray vaccine.
How Flu Vaccines Work
The flu vaccine stimulates the production of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that provide immune defense against illness. It takes the body about two weeks to generate antibodies after receiving the flu vaccine. This means that during the two weeks after your flu vaccine, your body remains vulnerable to infection.
Every year the seasonal flu vaccine is tailor-made to protect against the particular flu strains that are currently circulating. Trivalent flu vaccines protect against two types of influenza A and one type of influenza B. Quadrivalent vaccines protect against these three types plus an additional strain of influenza B.
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How Can I Feel Safe Getting My Flu Shot During Covid
Wherever you choose to get your flu shot, the healthcare staff administering it will be wearing personal protective equipment, likely a mask and gown, and perhaps a face shield. They are doing this to protect themselves and you from COVID-19.
You can feel safe by protecting yourself as you normally would when you are outside of your home. This includes:
- Staying at least 2 metres from other people
- Wearing a face mask, and ensuring that it covers your nose and mouth
- Avoiding crowded public spaces when possible
- Washing your hands and face thoroughly when you return home
Can I Have Flu And Covid
Yes. It is possible to have flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this can be.
Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.
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Do We Know How Bad This Years Flu Season Will Be
We dont have a crystal ball, said Dr. Lisa L. Maragakis, the senior director of infection prevention at the Johns Hopkins Health System. But for hints of what to expect, scientists have been watching the Southern Hemisphere, where flu season is now wrapping up. And the good news is that the flu season has been relatively mild there, Dr. Maragakis said so ours might be, too.
Yet there are reasons to be worried as well. When you look across the years, more serious and more severe flu seasons often follow light ones, Dr. Maragakis said. Thats likely because of how the flu evolves and how susceptible people are to the strains circulating during the next season. Since weve had two light years in a row, we could be in for a bad year if the flu starts spreading, she said.
In a study published on a preprint server in August that has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh used mathematical modeling to predict how severe the upcoming flu season might be based on this increased susceptibility. They reported that if flu and flu vaccination levels are typical of prior years, 102,000 more Americans than average could be hospitalized with influenza a 20 percent increase.
Is There A Vaccine For Pneumonia
There are 2 types: pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for adults and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for children.
The adult vaccine protects against 23 types of bacteria that commonly cause pneumonia. Doctors suggest that healthy seniors over 65 get both vaccines. The timing and sequence in which you get them will vary depending on what vaccines youâve already had.
Some experts say adults younger than 55 should get both vaccines to boost their immune system. Although there is no evidence that the vaccine is harmful for pregnant women, as a precaution, women who want the vaccine should do so before getting pregnant. The pneumonia vaccine could also be helpful for people with:
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Who Should Be Vaccinated
Everyone over 6 months old should get the flu shot, with rare exceptions detailed later in this article. Some people need it more than others. People who work with or around children or sick people should strongly consider getting annual flu vaccinations to help protect themselves and the vulnerable populations they work with.
Different types of flu vaccines are appropriate for different groups of people. A patient’s age, health status, and allergies should all be taken into account when deciding what type of flu vaccine is appropriate.
People ages 2 to 49 who do not want the standard, injectable flu vaccine may opt for the nasal spray vaccine as long as they meet certain requirements.
When Should I Call The Doctor About My Cold Or The Flu
If a person develops troublebreathing, has a severe sore throat, has a cough that produces green-colored mucus, has chest pain, or develops a high and persistent fever, that person should be seen by their doctor. If you suspect you have the flu and are pregnant, are over 50, have a weakened immune system for any reason, or have ongoing medical problems such as diabetes, you are at higher risk for developing complications due to the flu and should contact your physician. If you have a child under 2 years of age or have a friend or relative living in long-term care facility with flu-like symptoms, their doctors need to be notified.
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Can The Flu Shot Prevent Covid
It is not designed to do so, and we have no solid evidence that it does. But some recent, yet preliminary and limited, studies suggest that it could. One study published on a preprint server in September that has not yet been peer reviewed found that of nearly 18,000 employees at a Dutch hospital, those who received a previous flu vaccine were 37 to 49 percent less likely to get sick with Covid-19 during the first and second coronavirus waves, respectively,than those who didnt get the flu shot.
Researchers have been speculating that the flu vaccine might spark a broad immune response that could help prevent other infections, including Covid-19. And while there is growing interest in this theory, and other studies have found similar associations, its hard to know whether these effects are causal or just coincidental, Dr. Fradin said.
The best way to prevent Covid-19,she added,is to get a Covid-19 vaccine.
Myth #: Antibiotics Can Fight The Flu If You Get It
Antibiotics only kill bacteria, but the flu is caused by a virus.
There are antiviral drugs that can fight flu infections, but they’ve only been shown to work when they’re given within 48 hours of the start of symptoms. “Most people, by the time they go to the doctor, they’re past the 48-hour mark,” said Dr. Dennis Cunningham, an infectious disease specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
For patients hospitalized with severe flu, the drugs may help, he said. But they aren’t a cure, and for most people who aren’t hospitalized, these drugs may only cut down on the duration of the flu by a day or two.
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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.
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Symptoms Of A Cold Vs The Flu
The flu and the common cold are both caused by a virus. The flu comes from one of four types of influenza viruses , while colds may come from many different types, one of the most common being rhinoviruses.
The cold and the flu have very similar symptoms, says Troy Madsen, MD, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Utah. But there are some key differences that can help you tell them apart:
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What Is A Sinus Infection And Is It The Same As Sinusitis
A sinus infection is an infection of the sinuses caused by a virus, bacteria, or rarely fungi.
Technically, sinusitis is an inflammation of the delicate membranes that line the sinuses, which may be caused by an allergy, a virus, bacteria, or rarely fungi. When membranes are inflamed they swell up and become red. Sinus infections always have sinusitis as a symptom.
Special Information For People With Asthma
Flu viruses change from year to year. So, the flu vaccine changes each year. The CDC also updates its guidelines each year. Get a flu vaccine every year when it becomes available, usually between August and October.
The vaccine is safe. If you have asthma, the risks of flu complications are far greater than not getting the vaccine.
If you care for children with asthma or live with people with asthma, get the flu vaccine to protect them.2
The flu vaccine is available as a shot or a nasal spray. AAFA recommends the following:
- Ages 6 months to 4 years: Get the flu shot.
- Ages 4 and older: If your asthma is under control with no symptoms, you can get the flu shot or the nasal spray vaccine.
- Ages 4 and older: If you have recent asthma episodes or wheezing, get the flu shot.
If you have asthma and get the flu, contact your doctor right away. You are at greater risk of becoming severely ill with health problems from the flu very quickly.
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How Effective Is Flumist Compared To Other Flu Vaccines
FluMist targets the same flu viruses as other flu vaccines this year. Because flu vaccines are based on a prediction of which flu viruses will be circulating, we wont have data on the effectiveness of this years flu vaccines until after the flu season is over. However, the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older get a flu vaccine. There is no preference for any of the flu vaccines that are currently available, as long as it has been approved for your age group.
The type of flu vaccine that is best for each individual will depend on their age and health. Talk to your provider if youre unsure which vaccine is right for you. Especially given that this years flu season will coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic, the most important thing is that you get a flu vaccine.
Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
A few symptoms set a sinus infection apart from influenza and other common winter ailments, like a cold. One is the quality of mucous that you end up with when you have sinusitis. When theres an issue with the sinuses, the mucous is usually thick and green or yellow. Its also common for people with sinusitis to have post-nasal drip and to feel constantly stuffed up and congested.
The built-up mucous and congestion can also lead to facial pain and sinus headaches. You might feel an intense pressure behind your eyes and forehead. Although people with sinus infections might feel a bit tired because they have trouble sleeping, they usually dont have the fatigue thats associated with the flu. Sinusitis also doesnt typically cause fevers.
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Taking The Right Medication For The Right Illness
The best thing to do for cold or sinus symptoms during the first seven to 10 days is to treat the symptoms, not the illness. You can do this with medications such as:
- Cough medicine
- Pain reliever
Cold viruses dont respond to antibiotics, so taking them during the first seven days probably wont help. In fact, taking antibiotics when theyre not needed can increase your risk for being infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or other serious antibiotic related problems.
After seven to 10 days, when the symptoms are more likely to indicate a sinus infection, it may be time to ask your doctor about antibiotics. However, sinus infections can and do sometimes go away on their own, just like colds. Ask your doctor if you need an antibiotic or if the infection is likely to go away on its own without medication.
If your symptoms point to allergies, many effective medications are available over the counter to control symptoms, such as antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays. These medications work on all sorts of allergies because they suppress the bodys reactions to allergens, rather than treating the specific allergen. Some antihistamines can cause drowsiness, however, so be cautious of that when taking them. They also do not help stuffiness or pressure symptoms, so adding a decongestant plus a pain reliever as needed can help you ride it out.
Myth #: It Contains Thimerosal Which May Be Harmful
Thimerosal a preservative that contains mercury has never been shown to be harmful, Cunningham said. The type of mercury linked with nervous system damage is methyl mercury, he said. Concerns over levels of methyl have led to recommendations that pregnant women avoid eating large amounts of certain types of fish, such as swordfish.
In contrast, thimerosal is an ethyl mercury compound.
Still, because the preservative raised controversy, especially over a now-disproven link to autism, it was taken out of almost all U.S. vaccines starting in 2001, Cunningham said.
The injectable form of the flu vaccine is available to health care providers as large, multidose bottles and small vials carrying individual doses. A tiny amount of thimerosal is added to the multidose bottles to ensure that no bacteria will grow in the vaccine, Cunningham said. The individual-dose bottles contain no thimerosal.
The nasal spray form of the flu vaccine also contains no thimerosal, he noted.
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What Causes Sinusitis And The Flu
Influenza and sinusitis arent caused by the same thing. Several influenza viruses cause the flu. Type B influenza viruses get people sick while Type A viruses can get people as well as animals sick. Type C viruses typically cause minor symptoms. Any type of influenza virus can get into your body and make you sick by entering through the eyes, mouth or nose.
Sinusitis can also be caused by a virus but not the influenza virus. Sinus infections can also develop due to bacteria and fungus, and chronic sinusitis can develop because of a problem with the structure of the sinuses or nasal cavity or because of ongoing inflammation caused by allergies or the common cold.