INFLUENZA (FLU) PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES! SELF-LEARNING MODULE
Objectives • To promote the influenza vaccination program • To institute Infection Control measures for the prevention of influenza • To increase vaccination rate among employees
WHAT IS INFLUENZA?(ALSO KNOWN AS THE FLU) • The flu is a contagious respiratory illness • It is caused by influenza viruses • It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death • It can be prevented by getting the flu vaccination each year
Key Facts about the Flu • Every year in the United States, on average: - 5% to 20% of the population are infected with the flu - More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications - About 36,000 people die from the flu
Symptoms of Flu • Symptoms of flu include: • Fever (usually high) • Headache • Extreme tiredness • Dry cough • Sore throat • Runny or stuffy nose • Muscle aches • Stomach symptoms , such as nausea and diarrhea .
Complications of Flu • Complications of Flu include: • Pneumonia • Dehydration • Worsening of medical conditions (Asthma, Diabetes, Congestive Heart Failure)
How Flu Spreads • Respiratory droplets caused by coughing and sneezing • From person to person • Touching your mouth and nose after touching something with flu viruses on it • Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day beforesymptoms develop and up to 5 days after becoming sick
Preventing the Spread of Flu • Get Vaccinated • Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette: • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing • If you do not have tissues available, sneeze into your sleeve, not into your hands • Use tissues to contain respiratory secretions; dispose of tissues after use • Perform hand hygiene after contact with respiratory secretions • Sit at least 3 feet away from others if you are coughing or sneezing
The Flu Shot • The flu shot contains inactivated (killed) virus • Two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against influenza virus infection.
When to get vaccinated • October and November is the best time to get vaccinated • Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May.
Who should get vaccinated? People at high risk for complications: People 65 years and older, children, those who are immunosuppressed or have chronic medical conditions People 50 to 64 years of age: Nearly one third of people in this age category have medical conditions that place them at risk for serious flu complications People who can transmit flu to others at high risk for complications: Healthcare workers, caregivers of children 6 to 23 months old, and close contacts of people 65 years and older
Priority GroupsCDC Recommendations • People 65 years of age and older • People 2-64 years with chronic health conditions • Children 6-23 months • Pregnant women • Healthcare personnel who provide direct patient care • Household contact and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age
Who should not be vaccinated? • Those with severe allergy to chicken eggs • Those who have had severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past • Those who have developed Guillain Barre Syndrome within 6 weeks of getting a flu vaccine previously • Children less than 6 months of age • Those who have a moderate or severe illness with fever (May return for the vaccine when symptoms lessen)
Possible Side Effects • Mild symptoms could start soon after the vaccine is given and may last for one or two days: • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given • Fever (low grade) • Body aches • Severe reactions such, as breathing problems, could occur a few minutes to a few hours after the shot, usually among people with severe allergy to eggs. Influenza vaccine is grown in hens’ eggs
Questions About the Flu? Please contact: Employee Health Services Infection Control Source: CDC Guidelines and recommendations, January 2005