Friday, October 9, 2015

Flu Season

Influenza is dangerous for children (It’s flu season!)

Influenza (“the flu”) is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Each year, many children get sick with seasonal flu; some of those illnesses result in death.

Children commonly need medical care because of influenza, especially before they turn 5 years old. Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old. Children with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system are at especially high risk of developing serious flu complications. Each year an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of influenza complications. Flu seasons vary in severity, however some children die from flu each year. Last influenza season, more than 140 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported.

The single best way to protect your children from the flu is to get them vaccinated each year. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Traditional flu vaccines (called “trivalent” vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; two influenza A viruses and one influenza B virus. In addition, there are flu vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines). These vaccines protect against the same three viruses as the trivalent vaccine and an additional B virus.
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine. Some children 6 months through 8 years of age require two doses of influenza vaccine. Your child’s health care provider can tell you whether two doses are recommended for your child.

What if I cannot afford to pay for vaccine for myself or my children? The state of Colorado makes influenza vaccine available under programs that will cover the cost of the vaccine for those who qualify. You may have to pay an administration fee; check for sliding fee scales when calling a provider. Check with your local health department for flu shot clinics and special programs.
With information from:

Submitted by Lincoln County Public Health, for questions please call 719-743-2526 or find us on FACEBOOK!

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