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Influenza Vaccine Health Feed

What influences Influenza (causes and symptoms)

Dr. Tarun Jhamb 89% (18 ratings)
MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon
What influences Influenza (causes and symptoms)

Influenza or flu is a contagious respiratory infection that affects the lungs, throat, nose and occasionally, the ears. It usually does not require treatment but Paracetamol can provide relief from most of the symptoms. Rarely, influenza can lead to severe complications like pneumonia, sinus problems and asthma. Annual vaccinations can prevent these complications even if you do get a mild flu.
Causes
The influenza virus is air borne and can be spread through coughing, sneezing, skin to skin contact, or indirect contact like touching a contaminated object. Type A, Type B and Type C influenza viruses affect the respiratory organs.
People with weak immune systems are infected more easily than others- children under the age of 4, people above the age of 60 pregnant women, obese people and those who are suffering from kidney disorders and diabetes are at greater risk of infection. Air pollution also aggravates the problem.
There is also little chance that your body has the necessary antibodies to fight the virus if you have been infected before. This is because the influenza virus modifies constantly and new strains of the virus appear rapidly. So, the antibodies that work against one particular variant do not work effectively against the others. This is why vaccination is also not a foolproof preventive technique against this disease.
Symptoms
The symptoms of influenza begin to show within a few days after infection. In a few cases, the infection may be asymptomatic. When they do show, the symptoms are very common- high fever, shivering, a blocked and runny nose, frequent coughing and sneezing and chest congestion are the predominant signs. In the later stages, there are headaches, body aches, general fatigue, reddened and watering eyes, throat pains and difficulty in speaking.
In the cases where the patient is a child, there are a few other symptoms like digestive and gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The last two are especially common in children who have been infected by influenza virus Type B.
Aged people often have low resistance to the virus. This is why the flu quickly escalates and the complications like primary viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia. In such cases, there are sever symptoms like breathing problems, the presence of blood in the sputum, red and itchy skin and petechial rashes (caused by minor punctures in the capillary blood vessels). If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

3505 people found this helpful

Influenza Vaccine - Why is it Important for Kids?

Dr. Abhishek Goel 90% (37 ratings)
Senior Residency, MD - Paediatrics, MBBS
Pediatrician, Gurgaon
Influenza Vaccine - Why is it Important for Kids?

Influenza is more commonly known as the flu. It is an infection that affects the respiratory system and is caused by the influenza virus. This injection is recommended for kids who are under the age of 6 months. It ensures that the baby is safeguarded from the virus during an influenza outbreak. Since the nature of virus changes year on year, the immunity doesn’t last for more than 1 year. This vaccination is ideally taken during the month of October and November. The effect of the vaccination typically lasts for 6-8 months.

Ideally, kids who have never had a flu vaccination should take 2 vaccinations within 4 weeks. Kids who have received a shot of flu should undertake this vaccination once in a year. This arrangement is ideal up to 9 years of age. Flu shot is extremely important for a kid due to the following reasons:

  • It saves a kid from chronic lung and heart disorders such as asthma and cystic fibrosis
  • Kids suffering from immune deficiency, cancer, and HIV should take this vaccination to avoid further complication of the existing disease
  • Kids suffering from diabetes, kidney diseases, and metabolic disorders should go for this vaccination without a second thought
  • Kids suffering from a neurological disorder, haemoglobin deficiency, and anaemia should take this vaccination to refrain from the risk of aggravation of the present disease
  • Pregnant women should ideally take it for the safeguarding the fetus

Flu shot should not be taken be taken if:
1. A baby is under the age of 6 months.
2. The baby has thimerosal allergy.

Is flu shot safe?
The flu shot is considered to be very safe. It does not result in flu. Few side effects include:
a. Soreness of the place where the needle is injected. This doesn’t last for more than a couple of day.
b. Body ache and mild fever for the first couple of days after the vaccination is done.
c. There is little to no pain in the place where the injection is injected by the doctor.

What is nasal flu vaccine?
This is an influenza dose that is not injected into the body, but given in the form of nasal spray. Healthy kids above the age of 2 years are fit to get this injection. For those kids who have a history of chronic illness should check with their doctor to go ahead with nasal spray. Each dose is given in each nostril. Like the influenza vaccine, nasal flu vaccine should be undertaken once for those who have already taken this dose once. Kids who have not undergone this vaccination are eligible for 2 dosages each 4 weeks apart from each other. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

2545 people found this helpful

Seasonal Influenza - Facts About It!

Dr. Amit Beniwal 88% (110 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine, Masters In Evidence Based Medicine
General Physician, Delhi
Seasonal Influenza - Facts About It!

Seasonal influenza is a disease that can be potentially fatal if it is not treated on time. This is an infection-based ailment that can affect people differently in different seasons. Let us find out more about the symptoms, treatment and vaccination for this viral infection.

Symptoms: Those suffering from this sickness will usually experience rapidly rising temperature and fever along with chills and body ache. It will also cause a cough and sore throat which will hurt even while eating and gulping fluids. A runny nose is also a common symptom of this condition along with headaches. Vomiting and loose motions will also be experienced by the patients, especially children.

Complications and onset: The onset of this condition happens with the transfer of droplets in a person’s cough or sneeze. If you are in close physical contact with someone who is already suffering from this condition, then getting exposed to these droplets when a person sneezes or coughs can lead to the spread of the disease. This is a contagious condition that usually calls for immediate hospitalisation so that it may be treated properly under due medical intervention. This condition may also cause bacterial pneumonia as well as other potentially fatal conditions like heart failure, extreme sinus infection and dehydration. Also, it may give rise to other ailments like diabetes and asthma in the long run.

Prevention: One of the most important ways of preventing this condition is with the help of the influenza vaccine. This vaccine is usually taken once a year so that you are protected against an entire cycle of 12 months, which includes various seasonal changes.

The vaccine: The seasonal influenza vaccine is usually administered to newborn babies every few months. As the child grows older, the vaccine may be administered once every six months or once a year, eventually. Adults must also take this vaccine at least once a year. This is because the immunity of an infant will be more delicate than the immunity of a growing child and adult. This vaccine must be administered by a doctor only.

Facts about the vaccine: With the help of this vaccine, the antibody production in the body is encouraged. This leads to protection when it comes to a variety of infections. The viruses contained in the vaccine are known to protect the body against four kinds of infection viruses. There are various kinds of this vaccine, including the standardised dose that contains trivalent shots containing the virus that has been grown in an egg. The other kinds include the quadrivalent flu vaccine that is appropriate for various age groups. The former is usually given to infants and toddlers, while the latter is administered to adults.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3420 people found this helpful

Inactivated Influenza Vaccine During Pregnancy

Dr. Suman Rao 91% (251 ratings)
DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
Inactivated Influenza Vaccine During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, flu (influenza) can impose serious health implications for both the mother and the child. Due to pregnancy, the risk of developing complications like pneumonia are very high, which can pose as a problem during childbirth. Miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth are some of the major issues, which might develop if the mother has suffered from flu during her pregnancy. Although flu vaccination during pregnancy has certain risks, it has been observed that in most cases the benefits of inactivated influenza vaccine outweigh the risks. However, Live attenuated influenza vaccine is not recommended at all during pregnancy.

Recommendations across the world suggest that prevention of influenza by administration of inactivated influenza vaccine is the best intervention in pregnancy. The vaccine for Flu should be administered before the onset of flu season. RANZCOG, NHS UK, RCOG, FOGSI recommends inactivated flu vaccine for all the pregnant women unless there are any contraindications. 

Taking inactivated influenza vaccine can be beneficial in multiple ways:

  1. Prevents maternal complications: During pregnancy, the heart and lungs go through extra stress. Pregnancy can also severely impact your immune system. Opting for a inactivated flu vaccine can decrease significantly, the chance of falling severely ill due to flu.
  2. Prevents pregnancy problems due to flu: Getting infected by flu during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage during childbirth. Administering inactivated flu shots can prevent miscarriage as well as premature birth and low birth weight.
  3. Protects the baby after birth: Infants have a huge risk of getting infected with flu after birth. But as vaccines cannot be administered to them until they are 6 months old, it is the best recourse to opt for inactivated flu shots during pregnancy as the antibodies pass onto the child from the mother via placenta. The child can hence be protected from such diseases.

Some concerns
Often, one fear about the vaccine, is the development of Gullain Barre syndrome. This is very rare and the risk of GBS are higher following influenza like illness. Also, if the patient is allergic to eggs they are advised to consult a physician. Flu vaccines have traces of egg protein in it. Certain precautions are taken after studying the patient's medical history. The doctor may keep the patient under observation. Or in certain instances the physician might suggest alternative flu vaccine, which do not contain egg protein. Physicians decide it after studying any prior allergic reaction.

As per  the WHO SAGE position paper, from 1990 to 2009 the vaccine adverse event reporting system database in USA reported only 20 serious adverse events following administration of trivalent influenza vaccine to an estimated 11.8 million pregnant women.

3516 people found this helpful

Inactivated Influenza Vaccine During Pregnancy!

Dr. Sanheeta Dasgupta 91% (12 ratings)
MBBS, DGO, Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynaecology and Endoscopy
Gynaecologist, Noida
Inactivated Influenza Vaccine During Pregnancy!

During pregnancy, flu (influenza) can impose serious health implications for both the mother and the child. Due to pregnancy, the risk of developing complications like pneumonia are very high, which can pose as a problem during childbirth. Miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth are some of the major issues, which might develop if the mother has suffered from flu during her pregnancy. Although flu vaccination during pregnancy has certain risks, it has been observed that in most cases the benefits of inactivated influenza vaccine outweigh the risks. However, Live attenuated influenza vaccine is not recommended at all during pregnancy.

Recommendations across the world suggest that prevention of influenza by administration of inactivated influenza vaccine is the best intervention in pregnancy. The vaccine for Flushould be administered before the onset of flu season. RANZCOG, NHS UK, RCOG, FOGSI recommends inactivated flu vaccine for all the pregnant women unless there are any contraindications. 

Taking inactivated influenza vaccine can be beneficial in multiple ways:

  1. Prevents maternal complications: During pregnancy, the heart and lungs go through extra stress. Pregnancy can also severely impact your immune system. Opting for a inactivated flu vaccine can decrease significantly, the chance of falling severely ill due to flu.
  2. Prevents pregnancy problems due to flu: Getting infected by flu during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage during childbirth. Administering inactivated flu shots can prevent miscarriage as well as premature birth and low birth weight.
  3. Protects the baby after birth: Infants have a huge risk of getting infected with flu after birth. But as vaccines cannot be administered to them until they are 6 months old, it is the best recourse to opt for inactivated flu shots during pregnancy as the antibodies pass onto the child from the mother via placenta. The child can hence be protected from such diseases.

Some concerns
Often, one fear about the vaccine, is the development of Gullain Barre syndrome. This is very rare and the risk of GBS are higher following influenza like illness. Also, if the patient is allergic to eggs they are advised to consult a physician. Flu vaccines have traces of egg protein in it. Certain precautions are taken after studying the patient's medical history. The doctor may keep the patient under observation. Or in certain instances the physician might suggest alternative flu vaccine, which do not contain egg protein. Physicians decide it after studying any prior allergic reaction.

As per  the WHO SAGE position paper, from 1990 to 2009 the vaccine adverse event reporting system database in USA reported only 20 serious adverse events following administration of trivalent influenza vaccine to an estimated 11.8 million pregnant women.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

 

2273 people found this helpful

How many types of influenza virus are there, why we get suffer from cold mostly when season changes.

Dr. Arpan Gandhi 88% (129 ratings)
MD - Pathology, MBBS
Pathologist, Gurgaon
How many types of influenza virus are there, why we get suffer from cold mostly when season changes.
There are four types of influenza viruses: A, B, C and D. Human influenza A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics of disease almost every winter. The emergence of a new and very different influenza A virus to infect people can cause an influenza pandemic. Influenza type C infections generally cause a mild respiratory illness and are not thought to cause epidemics. Influenza D viruses primarily affect cattle and are not known to infect or cause illness in people. People seem to come down with a cold or the flu when the seasons change. But these dramatic temperature changes aren't the direct cause of these illnesses. Rather, the temperature shifts permit a different group of viruses to flourish, and it's these viruses that make people sick.
1 person found this helpful
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What is Influenza disease and virus? What is the external symptoms of influenza disease and how it controls?

Dr. Sajeev Kumar 90% (24400 ratings)
C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
What is Influenza disease and virus? What is the external symptoms of influenza disease and how it controls?
Influenza, commonly known as" the flu" is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. The most common symptoms include: a high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, and feeling tired.
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Influenza (Flu) and Pregnancy - What To Expect?

Dr. Tripti Raheja 88% (10 ratings)
M.R.C.O.G. (LONDON) Gold Medalist, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology , MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Influenza (Flu) and Pregnancy - What To Expect?

When you are pregnant, the need to watch your health is significantly higher. It is not just a question of your health, but of the developing baby also. This makes it extremely significant as different bacteria and viruses could affect the baby’s development and even lead to complications with pregnancy and childbirth.

The flu, short for influenza, is a mild viral infection that affects the upper airways, including the nose, throat, and sinuses. The usual symptoms include nose blockage, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, heavy headed feeling. It is caused by a virus and therefore there is no remedy for it. It has to run its course which usually takes about 7 days, and the body will fight off the infection on its own.

Symptomatic treatment including paracetamol and adequate hydration can help live through the flu. Though it is common in any weather, the winters increase the risk.

Another increased risk factor is the reduced immune levels in a pregnant woman, making them more prone to catching the flu. This could lead to complications like pneumonia which might require hospitalisation and prolonged treatment with antibiotics. The baby could also be at risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature birth.

Symptoms: If you do catch the flu during your pregnancy, you will notice the following symptoms a headache, runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, shortness of breath, coughing, sudden chills or fever, diarrhoea or vomiting, and body aches, and loss of appetite.

Management: If you suspect that you could have the flu, contact the doctor immediately. Taking safe antiviral medications can help reduce the duration of the illness and reduce pain and suffering. In addition, getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids can help recovery. Acetaminophen can help manage the fever, while Robitussin and guaifenesin can help manage the cough.

Prevention: If you are planning for pregnancy or are already pregnant, it makes great sense to get vaccinated for the flu. This can help prevent a flu attack and sail through pregnancy smoothly. In addition to protecting the mother, the flu vaccine also transmits the virus to the newborn, which gets immunity for up to 6 months of life. The vaccine also has a beneficial effect on the newborn.

It is safe to get the flu vaccine during pregnancy, though taking it in the early months is advisable. It is also safe during breastfeeding with no harmful effects documented. In addition, some healthy habits like regularly washing hands, eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, and keeping a safe distance from people with flu can help prevent flu attack.

While prevention is the best solution, if contracted, the flu can be managed well by seeking immediate medical attention.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4256 people found this helpful

Seasonal Influenza: Current Updates and Health Tips

Dr. Shobhit Bansal 90% (129 ratings)
MBBS, DNB - Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy & Sleep Disorders
Pulmonologist, Noida
Seasonal Influenza: Current Updates and Health Tips

Influenza is characterized by fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) with cough and/or sore throat.

Influenza viruses spread from human to human via aerosols created by coughs or sneezes of infected individuals .The incubation period of influenza ranges from 18-72 hours. Viral shedding occurs at the onset of symptoms or just before the onset of illness (0-24 h). Shedding continues for 5-10 days. Young children may shed virus longer, placing others at risk for contracting infection with the virus. Shedding may persist for weeks to months in highly immunocompromised persons.

The presentation of influenza virus infection varies; however, it usually includes many of the symptoms shown here. Patients with influenza who have preexisting immunity or who have received vaccine may have milder symptoms. Abrupt onset of illness is common. Fever may vary widely among patients, with some having low fevers (in the 100°F range) and others developing fevers as high as 104°F (40°C). Sore throat can be severe and may last 3-5 days. In children diarrhea may be a feature.

Findings of standard laboratory studies, such as a complete blood cell count and electrolyte levels, are nonspecific but helpful in the workup of influenza. Leukopenia and relative lymphopenia are typical findings in influenza. Thrombocytopenia may be present.

Most frequently, hospitalization is necessary when influenza exacerbates underlying chronic diseases. Some patients, especially elderly individuals, may be too weak to care for themselves alone at home. On occasion, the direct pathologic effects of influenza may require hospitalization; most commonly, this is influenza pneumonia.

Patients with influenza generally benefit from bed rest, and most patients recover in 3 days; however, malaise may persist for weeks.[1] After the development of influenza, antiviral agents can reduce the duration and severity of illness. To be effective, the medications must be administered within 40 hours of symptom onset. Oseltamivir is taken orally (75 mg bid for 5 d).

The influenza vaccine is recommended by the World Health Organization and United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for high-risk groups, such as children, the elderly, health care workers, and people who have chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or are immuno-compromised among others.

6 people found this helpful

Symptoms and Treatment: Influenza

Dr. Ashutosh Kumar 89% (238 ratings)
MD - General Medicine, DTM & H
Internal Medicine Specialist, Motihari
Symptoms and Treatment: Influenza

Influenza or seasonal flu is basically a viral infection. It is different from common flu that accounts for many conditions that occur due to changing weather. These conditions include cold, stomach problems and fever. Influenza or flu comes with a variety of symptoms and is primarily caused by a virus due to lack of precautions taken as far as food and outings go, during the changing seasons.

Let us find out more about the symptoms and treatment:

  • Symptoms: The main symptoms of this condition include fever, an aching body, dullness, fatigue, dry hacking coughs, a sore throat and even headaches. Appetite loss and drowsiness are also some symptoms of the condition.
  • Causes: Influenza is usually caused by either of the two influenza viruses, such as virus A or Virus B. The strains of these viruses are known to change every year.
  • Congestion: The main form of treatment revolves around treating the congestion that may have occurred in the nasal or the sinus tracts. The treatment for this is usually done with the help of nasal decongestants or sprays which can be used for a few days to get relief until the infection and congestion leaves the body. One must avoid the use of these decongestants for prolonged periods of time as they can make the condition reoccur again and again.
  • Allergies: Histamine is the chemical that the body produces automatically when an allergy hits. This is what causes influenza and hay fever as well. One can get treated with the help of anti-histamine drugs that will be prescribed for the doctor in case an allergic reaction or hay fever is detected. This drug can cause severe drowsiness, so it is best to take it at night and wake up fresh in the morning.
  • Blood Pressure and Other Complications: It is important to know what kind of medication you are allergic to, before you ingest anything or take a spray. If you are suffering from high blood pressure or any other cardiovascular complications, then you may want to steer clear of decongestants as these sprays can increase the blood pressure as well as the heart rate of the patient.
  • Cough: In order to cure a cough, one can take a cough medicine that will also have anti-histamines and analgesics, which will help in clearing the pollutants, dirt and allergens that have caused the cough.
  • Fever: In case you are experiencing fever and body ache, you can take aspirin or acetaminophen. However, this should be avoided by children.

With the treatment, one should take ample precautions while stepping out the home. Also, the patient should be careful about the dosage to avoid an overdose. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

3741 people found this helpful