Stapleton Pediatrics Blog

Flu Activity Increasing - Be Sure to Vaccinate!

by Brandon Davison-Tracy, MD

Over the last few months I have had a number of families report to me that either they think this flu season is “over” or that they have already had the “flu,” and, therefore, do not need a flu shot. 
Unfortunately, for the most part, both of these assumptions are incorrect.  While most of our patients that report that they have been ill with “flu” were quite sick, they likely did not have influenza. These families are reporting symptoms of mild to moderate fever, stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhea.  Although they were quite ill, what they actually had was likely gastroenteritis, which is commonly referred to as “stomach flu.”  This illness does not protect you against a subsequent influenza infection, which more typically presents with high fever (over 101 degrees), cough, body aches and other upper respiratory symptoms. 
It has been confusing this year because the influenza activity has been quite low when compared to last year. But the Centers for Disease Control reports that it is increasing, and some areas of the United States are already experiencing high amounts of flu. Sadly more increases are expected in the next few weeks. 
In our modern age of medicine, it is difficult to remember that influenza still is responsible for more than 100 deaths annually in children and nearly a million influenza-related hospitalizations. Children are one of the groups that are at a higher risk for complications related to influenza, and the best protection is to get vaccinated. 
The good news is it’s not too late to be vaccinated! If you or your child need a flu shot, please do not hesitate to contact our office, and we will be happy to assist you. We are able to immunize the entire family, including grandparents or any caregivers who you feel may need an immunization to protect your child. We are your partner in helping to navigate through any concerns you might have about flu or the vaccine, and we will be here to answer any questions you might have. It is a sincere pleasure to serve this wonderful community, so let’s make this a safe and healthy flu season.  
Posted: 2/15/2015 5:19:42 PM by | with 0 comments
Filed under: Flu, Medicine, Preventative, Virus

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