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Influenza Vaccination

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Influenza (flu) vaccination is an effective tool for preventing

Hospitalization and death among persons aged 18-64 years with medical

Conditions that increase the risk for influenza -related complications.

National health objectives for 2010 are to increase influenza vaccination for

those who have one or more high -risk conditions.

Influenza also called "the flu" is a contagious illness caused by

Influenza viruses. It is a seasonal illness in temperate zones that generally

appears during cold weather months. Influenza (flu) develops when a flu

virus infects your respiratory system, including your nose, throat, bronchial

tubes, and possibly the lungs. Although influenza viruses undergo constant

variation, the general nature of the resulting disease has remained quite

similar over the years.

Every year in the United States on average of 5% to 20% of the

population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu

complications and about 36,000 people die from flu. Influenza usually

comes on suddenly, with a rapid escalation in severity. Anyone can get the

virus (even healthy people), and serious problems from influenza can happen

at (even healthy people), and serious problems from influenza can happen at

any age. Anyone exposed to the virus can become infected and can be easily

spread among people in groups, such as in nursing homes, hospitals,

shelters, schools, and day cares. Most people who get influenza will recover

in one to two weeks, but some people will develop life-threatening

complications as a result of the flu. The risk of developing severe symptoms

and complications is higher in people age 65 years and older, people of any

age with chronic medical conditions, and children younger than 4 years of

age. Complications of flu can include pneumonia, bronchitis, worsening of

chronic medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, and sinus and ear

infections in children. A person can spread the flu starting one day before he

or she feels sick. They usually spread from person to person, though

sometimes people become infected by touching something with flu viruses

on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Some persons can be infected,

but have no symptoms. Symptoms develop one to four days after being

infected. That means that you can pass on the flu to someone else before

you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Although, the main

spreading of the virus is known to be in respiratory droplets of coughs and

sneezes called "droplet spread." Symptoms of the flu include: fever (usually

high), runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, extreme tiredness,

stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur

but are more common in children than adults, dry cough, and sore throat. In

most healthy people influenza will go away in seven to ten days. The worst

symptoms usually last three to four days. You can help prevent

influenza (flu) by getting immunized with an influenza vaccine each year,

ideally in October or November. This is because the effectiveness of this

vaccine ideally lasts for five months. Each year, the influenza vaccine is

reformulated to contain representatives of the predominant influenza viruses

circulating throughout the world. This form of vaccine effectively prevents

most cases of the flu, although success rates vary according to age and

health status. Even if a flu shot does not prevent the flu, the vaccine can

reduce the severity of flu symptoms and decrease the risk of complications.

Studies have shown that the flu shot results in fewer days missed



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