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Answering your questions about influenza.
When it comes to the flu, people have many questions. Dr. Steven Kavy, a Sharp Rees-Stealy pulmonologist, answers some of the most commonly asked questions.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Influenza, also known as the flu, attacks the respiratory tract, nose, throat and lungs. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly with symptoms that may include: fever, body aches, headache, tiredness (can become extreme), dry cough and nasal congestion.
If I begin to feel ill, what should I do?
Get plenty of rest. Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as needed for fever and body aches. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Use over-the-counter medications appropriately. Avoid contact with people who are sick.
I think my child has the flu; what should I do?
If you think your child has the flu, please contact his or her pediatrician. If your child is severely ill, please visit the emergency room.
What is the best way to prevent getting the flu?
The best way to prevent getting the flu is to avoid contact with people who are sick. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Eat and sleep well and get plenty of exercise to keep up your body's ability to fight off infection. Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. Participate in an annual influenza immunization (flu shot) program.
Should I get a flu shot, or is it too late?
Yes, flu vaccine can be given before or during the flu season. The best time to get vaccinated is October or November, but you can get vaccinated in December or later.
Can the flu vaccine cause the flu?
No, influenza vaccine is an inactivated virus vaccine, which means the virus particles are killed during the manufacturing process. Some people may experience soreness or swelling where they received the shot. It goes away in a day or two. Serious problems from the flu shot are very rare.
Where can I get vaccinated?
To find a flu clinic near you, visit Where to Get a Flu Shot.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about flu care health, visit Influenza in Adult Health or Flu Care Information in Sharp's System Services.