Influenza ("The flu")
Influenza is one of the most bemoaned and feared seasonal illnesses. The influenza virus appears annually in December or January, usually continuing to cause illnesses through late March or early April. As with other viruses, people may be contagious before overt symptoms develop.
According to the CDC, every year an average of 5 - 20% of the U.S. population contracts the flu, resulting in more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths.
Symptoms of the flu include sudden onset of the following:
Fever (usually high) Dry cough Runny or stuffy nose (congestion) Watery, red eyes Sore throat Extreme fatigue Muscle aches Headache Abdominal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)--more common in children than adults
Complications of the flu can be severe, and include bacterial pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, and dehydration.
Young children are especially at risk for developing complications of the flu. This fact has lead to evolving guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control regarding vaccination to prevent infection. Current recommendations are that all people 6 months of age and older receive annual vaccination. At the present time there is only an injectable flu vaccine. Not all children or adults are eligible for the nasal form of the vaccine. To determine which vaccine is best for your child, please contact the pediatrician.
Call us at (301) 625-2800
Please call us with any questions
Silver Spring Pediatrics
Drs. DeConcini, Schooler, Zang, Wang, Yee & Marcus