What’s the flu like this holiday season? Highlights may be vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, going by advance reports from Loyola University Health System, Chicago. It’s also unusually early and aggressive.
“Loyola documented several cases of the flu before Thanksgiving – and we now have confirmed more than 27 cases of patients with the flu, which is early to start and also a high number,” says infection prevention and control director Jorge Parada, MD. “If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, put it at the top of your to do list and get it now.”
Like construction workers wearing hard hats, all employees, students, volunteers & even vendors at LUHS are required to receive the seasonal flu shots to protect patients and themselves, Dr. Parada explains.
If you have doubts about getting a flu shot…
• See the facts about ‘flu folklore’ below.
• And if you have ME/CFS, fibromyalgia or a related illness to consider, see also “Should You Get a Flu Shot?” by ME/CFS & FM specialist Dr. Charles Lapp.
Flu Folklore & Facts
• “I got the flu already so I don’t need a flu shot.”
“Typically there are three strains of flu that circulate during the flu season and the flu vaccine protects against all three. So, even if you’ve had the flu, get your flu shot so you do not get the flu a couple of more times,” says Dr. Parada.
• “It’s too late; the flu is already here.”
“The flu season usually peaks in early February and lasts well into April, so it is not too late to get a flu shot.”
• “I got a flu shot last year.”
“Just like everyone can catch the flu every season, everyone needs to get a flu shot every year. The immunization lasts for one season -and also the formula changes. This year’s flu vaccine is different than that of last year, for example.”
• “The flu shot makes you sick.”
“It takes about two weeks to build immunity after receiving the flu shot, so if you catch the flu around the time of your flu shot it wasn’t because the vaccine gave it to you. Rather it was because you caught the flu before the vaccine had time to kick in and protect you,” says Dr. Parada. “I have been an infectious disease specialist for more than 25 years and I have never seen evidence of anyone catching the flu from the flu shot.”
Source: Based on Loyola University Health System news release, Dec 10, 2012