What to Know About the Flu Vaccine This Winter Season

December 23, 2014 Illness

While the winter season is only just beginning, some people are already beginning to fall victim to this year’s cold and flu season. To protect against the debilitating symptoms of the flu, Five Star Urgent Care recommends receiving this year’s flu vaccination. Take a look at Dr. LouAnne Giangreco explain more on the influenza virus during her segment on WSYR’s Bridge Street.

To better understand how the vaccine works, it’s important to understand more about the virus itself. The influenza virus is made up of influenza A and influenza B. The influenza A (H3N2) virus is a strain that has been associated with more hospitalizations and death in the past. This year, the virus has been detected more frequently. In early December, the CDC released an advisory estimating that 52 percent of influenza A strain H3N2 is different than the vaccine virus H3N2 and has led to a decrease in effectiveness. Although it may not be as effective against the influenza A strain H3N2, it may still help to lessen the severity of illness. Also, the flu vaccine helps to prevent against influenza A H1N1 and influenza B.

If you feel an onset fever, muscle pain or soreness, headache, fatigue, sore throat and cough, you may be coming down with the flu virus. These symptoms will be more severe than those of the common cold, and will typically last longer.

Certain antiviral medications, like Tamiflu and Relenza, can help to lessen shorten the duration of fever and illness symptoms, reduce the risk of complications from influenza and reduce the risk of death among hospitalized patients if taken within 48 hours of symptoms manifesting.

Contact a Five Star location nearest you for questions about the flu vaccine or to see a medical professional if you are experiencing symptoms.