We’re launching our national educational campaign “No Time For Flu.” Hooray!
The campaign sounds the alarm about the dangers of flu, and alerts the public to the need for everyone six months of age and older to be vaccinated against influenza to prevent transmission of the disease.
Flu sweeps around the world each year, and is a contagious and potentially deadly viral infection that can be dangerous for anyone—healthy young adults, pregnant women, babies, and seniors.
Commonly known as flu, influenza is marked by some or even all of these symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone experiences fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in kids than adults)
“Some people infected with flu feel achy and tired, or they might have a sore throat, cough, or fever. They might even have a runny or stuffy nose. Many flu symptoms are similar to cold symptoms, which is why people sometimes mix them up and think it’s no big deal, just a cold,” said Trish Parnell, director of PKIDs.
Flu symptoms can last for days and are usually gone by the end of two weeks.
Flu viruses are transmitted in various ways—even with a kiss. Or, an infected person can cough, sneeze, or talk and spray tiny infected droplets into the air. Those droplets are then breathed in through the nose or the mouth of anyone nearby.
An infected person can also cough, sneeze, or talk and spray tiny droplets into the air, which then plop onto tables, or doorknobs, or other surfaces. Individuals later touch those surfaces and get the droplets on their hands. When those same hands touch the nose, mouth, or eyes, the droplets are transferred from the surface to the body, and transmit the virus.
An infected person can transmit the flu virus even before he or she starts to feel ill.
The CDC states that every year in the United States, on average:
- 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.
Flu doesn’t treat everyone the same. It can lead to pneumonia or perhaps, in children, sinus or ear infections. It can make an existing medical condition such as asthma much worse, and one can even die from flu
The fact that flu can take perfectly healthy individuals and kill them in a matter of days is the most confounding aspect of infection.
PKIDs’ “No Time For Flu” campaign reaches out through social media platforms and a website, www.pkids.org/flu, to educate the public on flu and how to prevent infection.
Through the use of videos, posters, and fresh informative materials, the public’s questions about flu are answered with clarity, and the need to use immunization and clean hands as strong tools to prevent infection is made clear.
“It’s so easy to catch the flu, and so easy to prevent it. Plan ahead, roll up your sleeve, and protect yourself and your loved ones,” said Ari Brown, MD, pediatrician and author of Baby 411 book series.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccination. There are rare exceptions, and an individual’s healthcare provider will be the person to address those issues.
NOTE: For the 2016-2017 flu season, CDC recommends that only the injectable flu vaccines be used, and not the nasal spray flu vaccine. Ongoing studies are determining the effectiveness of the nasal spray vaccine.
Because the flu strains change each year, an annual vaccination which matches the existing strains is required.
Please visit our site and use the images and other materials to encourage your community to immunize against flu.