Healthy People in a Healthy Environment

Flu Season is Here!

2017 Health Department Flu Clinic

2017 Flu Shot Schedule for University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health

 
What is the Flu?

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.

While seasonal influenza (flu) viruses can be detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.

2017 Flu Shot Schedule for University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health

Protection in the 2017/2018 Year

There are many flu viruses and they are constantly changing. The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated to match circulating flu viruses. Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common. For 2017-2018, three-component vaccines are recommended to contain:

  • an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

Four-component vaccines, which protect against a second lineage of B viruses, are recommended to be produced using the same viruses recommended for the trivalent vaccines, as well as a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus.

Remember

Flu poster

Signs and Symptoms

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Key Facts about Flu

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Is it a Cold? Flu? or Allergies?

Symptoms

Cold Flu Airborne Allergy
Fever Rare Usual, high (100-102 °F), sometimes higher, especially in young children); lasts 3-4 days Never
Headache Uncommon Common Uncommon
General Aches, Pains Slight Usual; often severe Never
Fatigue, Weakness Sometimes Usual, can last up to 3 weeks Sometimes
Extreme Exhaustion Never Usual, at the beginning of the illness Never
Stuffy, Runny Nose Common Sometimes Common
Sneezing Usual Sometimes Usual
Sore Throat Common Sometimes Sometimes
Cough Common Common, can become severe Sometimes
Chest Discomfort Mild to moderate Common Rare, except for those with allergic asthma
Treatment Get plenty of rest.Stay hydrated. (Drink plenty of fluids.)Decongestants.Aspirin (ages 18 and up), acetaminophen, or ibuprofen for aches and pains Get plenty of rest.Stay hydrated.Aspirin (ages 18 and up), acetaminophen, or ibuprofen for aches, pains, and feverAntiviral medicines (see your doctor) Avoid allergens (things that you’re allergic to)AntihistaminesNasal steroidsDecongestants
Prevention Wash your hands often.Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold. Get the flu vaccine each year.Wash your hands often.Avoid close contact with anyone who has the flu. Avoid allergens, such as pollen, house dust mites, mold, pet dander, cockroaches.
Complications Sinus infection middle ear infection, asthma Bronchitis, pneumonia; can be life-threatening Sinus infection, middle ear infection, asthma

Printable Downloads

Everyday Preventative Actions

Chronic Illnesses and the Flu

Take 3 Actions

      HCHD_FluMailer HCHD_FluMailer2

Caring for Someone Who is Sick

What do you do if someone you care for or live with is sick? Click here for tips and directions.

Flu Warning Signs

Resources

The CDC

Maryland Department of Health

For Parents and Childcare Providers .