Flu is different from a cold. It is caused by a different group of viruses. In general, flu is worse than the common cold and symptoms are more common and intense. Colds generally do not
result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. Flu can have very serious associated complications and can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
The majority of seasonal influenza is caused by four influenza strains A and B called Influenza A(H1N1), Influenza A(H3N2), Influenza B/Yamagata and Influenza B/Victoria viruses.
Seasonal flu (influenza) spreads easily, with rapid transmission in crowded areas including schools and nursing homes. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, droplets containing viruses (infectious droplets) are dispersed into the air and can spread up to 1 meter, and infect persons in close proximity who breathe these droplets in. The virus can also be spread by hands contaminated with influenza viruses.
To prevent transmission, people should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing, and wash their hands regularly.
Everyday preventive actions like avoiding contact with sick people, covering your nose & mouth while sneezing or coughing can prevent the spread of flu virus.
One of the most effective ways to prevent flu is vaccination. Flu vaccines are generally effective and well tolerated and have been used for more than 60 years. Therefore, most global and national health authorities recommend annual vaccination before the start of every influenza season owing to the changing virus strains in circulation and waning of immunity after circulation.
Flu Vaccination can be taken by infants & children above 6 months of age. For more information, consult your Pediatrician.
Isn’t flu just like a bad cold?
No. Flu is more than just a bad cold, it is caused by a different group of viruses. Symptoms of
flu tend to be much more severe and last for longer. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at
times can lead to death.
If I got the flu vaccine or the flu last year, I can’t catch it again this year. Is this true?
That’s not true. The viruses that cause flu change every year and your body’s immune response
declines over time. So the flu vaccine has to be reformulated every year as well to stay ahead of
the changing flu viruses and you need to get vaccinated with the new vaccine every year.
Does the flu vaccine work?
Flu vaccine does work. How well it works can change from year to year, however vaccination
is still the most effective method to help prevent flu or reduce the severity of flu, as
recommended by important health organizations.
Can a flu vaccine give you the flu?
No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. The viruses used in the flu vaccine has been
treated, so they are not active. This means they’re not infectious and can’t make you ill.
Why do some people not feel well after getting the seasonal flu vaccine?
The most common reaction after flu vaccination is pain or swelling at the injection site.
Other reactions can include a mild fever or muscle aches. Sometimes these reactions can be
mistaken for the flu, but they aren’t and they usually disappear without any treatment.
Does the flu vaccine prevent COVID-19?
Flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the health care system and conserve scarce medical resources for the care of people with COVID-19.