Rhinebeck's School Nurses Provide Information to Students, Parents, and Staff During the Current National Flu Outbreak
According to Rhinebeck school district nurses Teresa Costakis (BMS/RHS) and Mary Skeen (CLS), the flu is definitely becoming more prominent in our community, as it is nationally. To inhibit the spread of the flu, they caution all students, staff, and parents to remember to cover all coughs and sneezes, to wash contaminated surfaces and hands often, to avoid touching one’s face, and to stay home if the individual is sick. Indiviudals are most contagious with the flu in the first 3-4 days of illness.
Symptoms may begin 1-4 days after exposure, but usually within 2 days, as follows:
Sudden onset of some or all of these symptoms may be noted:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills;
- Sore throat;
- Runny or stuffy nose;
- Muscle or body aches;
- Fatigue (tiredness);
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this can be more common in children than adults.
Misconceptions About Flu Vaccines (Source: CDC.gov)
Can a flu shot give you the flu? No, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness. The most common side effects from the influenza shot are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. Low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches also may occur.
Why do some people not feel well after getting the seasonal flu vaccine? Some people report having mild reactions to flu vaccination. The most common reaction to the flu shot in adults has been soreness, redness or swelling at the spot where the shot was given. This usually lasts less than two days. This initial soreness is most likely the result of the body's early immune response reacting to a foreign substance entering the body. Other reactions following the flu shot are usually mild and can include a low grade fever and aches. If these reactions occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days. The most common reactions people have to flu vaccine are considerably less severe than the symptoms caused by actual flu illness.
Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over the others? There is no preference for one vaccine over another among the recommended, approved injectable influenza vaccines. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.
Is it better to get the flu than the flu vaccine? No. Flu can be a serious disease. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death. Getting vaccinated is a safer choice than risking illness to obtain immune protection. Do
I really need a flu vaccine every year? Yes. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone 6 months and older.
What about serious reactions to flu vaccine? Serious allergic reactions to flu vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. While these reactions can be life-threatening, effective treatments are available.
As always, parents and staff are advised to contact their health care provider for specific information regarding their personal medical situation.