Below are some frequently asked questions on Influenza
Seasonal Influenza (Flu)
What is Influenza?
Influenza is a respiratory virus that causes seasonal flu
each year during the winter months. It is characterized by
fever, chills, body aches, headache, runny nose, cough and
occasional diarrhea. It is primarily an infection of
the respiratory tract (breathing tubes and lungs). In
some persons, complications of influenza can be severe
I received a flu shot last year, do I need
another one this year?
Yes. You need a flu shot this flu season (Fall
2010) to be protected. Each year the types of flu that
can make people sick change, so the flu shot also changes.
Do I need a separate H1N1 (swine) flu shot
No. The seasonal flu vaccine available this flu
season (Fall 2010) will protect you from H1N1 flu.
What happened to H1N1 (swine) flu?
Last year a new strain of influenza, H1N1 or swine flu,
was circulating around the world. H1N1 is one of the
many flu viruses circulating this flu season.
What about nasal vaccine, FluMist?
FluMist, the intranasal flu vaccine, is a viable option
for healthy people ages 2-49. See
FluMist.com for more
What else can I do to protect myself from the
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or
sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze
into your sleeve. Clean your hands after you cough or
sneeze with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand
Handwashing is one of the most important things you can
do to keep from getting sick and spreading germs to others.
What about antiviral medicine?
Antiviral medicines are used for treatment and prevention
of influenza. Antivirals must be taken quickly, within
24-48 hours of becoming ill with flu symptoms
What is Avian Influenza?
Avian influenza is an infection caused by avian (bird)
influenza (flu) viruses. These influenza viruses occur
naturally among birds. Wild birds worldwide carry the
viruses in their intestines, but usually do not get sick
from them. However, avian influenza is very contagious among
birds and can make some domesticated birds, including
chickens, ducks, and turkeys, very sick and kill them.