Flu is a seasonal threat that can result in extended illness or hospitalization. Vaccination each flu season is the best way to protect adults and children from seasonal flu and its complications.
Yearly flu shots are recommended by the CDC for everyone six months of age and older. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and death. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for full protection against the flu to take effect. Get your flu vaccination by the end of October for best protection.
Check with your health care provider about this season's flu shot. County health departments provide flu shots to all children, and to qualifying adults who lack insurance coverage. Flu shots are also widely available at pharmacies and retail centers. Find one near you by entering your zip code in the Flu Shot Locator.
MSDH accepts private insurance, Medicaid, CHIP, and Vaccines for Children (VFC) coverage. Cost under the VFC program is $10.
MSDH county clinics offer pediatric flu vaccinations for children up to age 18. Certain high-risk adults who lack health insurance coverage or who are underinsured can also receive their flu shots at county health departments.
Yearly flu shots are recommended by the CDC for everyone six months of age and older. Those particularly at risk for influenza complications include young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with a chronic illness. Parents and caregivers of those who are at risk for flu should also receive a flu vaccination.
Young children: Children, especially those six months through four years old, are more vulnerable to flu and its complications. It's especially important that children with underlying medical problems such as neuro-developmental or other disorders receive flu vaccination, since they can be at much higher risk of medical complications for death.
The flu shot is not approved for use in children younger than 6 months of age.
Adults 50 and over: People over the age of 50 are the largest group in the nation struck by serious or life-threatening cases of influenza. Older adults should also consider getting pneumonia shots. The pneumonia vaccination won't prevent pneumonia, but it can greatly reduce the severity and deadliness of pneumonia.
Anyone with a chronic illness: Chronic disease such as diabetes, or a condition like HIV that weakens your immune system, can greatly increase the risk of getting the flu, having it longer, and suffering from more serious medical problems as a result of it. People with diabetes are almost three times more likely to die from flu complications.
Pregnant women or women who will be pregnant during the flu season: Pregnancy can change the immune system in the mother, making flu and flu complications more likely. Flu can pose a risk both to the mother and her developing child. Flu vaccination for the mother can also protect newborns from the flu while they are too young for flu vaccination themselves.
A flu shot is not recommended if you:
Clean hands prevent the spread of flu virus. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly to stay healthy.
One of the most common ways to catch the flu is by touching the eyes or nose with contaminated hands. Handwashing prevents the spread of other communicable diseases as well: hepatitis A, meningitis, and infectious diarrhea among others.
The flu virus easily enters the body when you touch a contaminated surface and transfer the virus to the eyes, nose, or mouth.
You are more likely to catch the flu if you are already sick with a cold or other illness. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick to keep yourself and others well.
If you are sick, continue to follow the handwashing guidelines above.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of any illness to others.
Wash your hands after using a tissue.
Flu spreads easily: avoid close contact with those who are ill. If you are sick, avoid contact with others to keep them well.
The flu's symptoms come on suddenly and can include a high fever and severe aches and pains. A cold, however, rarely causes a fever or severe aches and pains.
|Fever||Usually none||High fever (102 - 104° F); lasts 3 to 4 days|
|Headache||Usually none||Headaches can be strong|
|General aches, pains||Very little||Often severe aches and pains|
|Fatigue, weakness||Mild||Fatigue for up to 3 weeks|
|Extreme exhaustion||Never||Exhaustion begins early and remains|
|Stuffy nose||Nose usually stuffy||Sometimes|
|Sneezing||Sneezing is common||Sometimes|
|Sore throat||Throat is usually sore||Sometimes|
|Chest discomfort, cough||Sometimes||Chest discomfort and coughing can be severe|
|Complications||Sinus congestion or earache||Bronchitis, pneumonia; can be life-threatening|
|Prevention||None||Annual vaccination or antiviral medicines; see your doctor|
|Treatment||Only temporary relief of symptoms||Antiviral medicines: see your doctor|
|recommended by the CDC||https://www.cdc.gov/flu/|
|Mississippi Flu Surveillance||http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,0,199,230,html|
|Flu Information from the CDC||http://www.cdc.gov/flu/|
|County health departments||http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/19,0,166,html|
|Find an MSDH county health clinic||http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/19,0,166,html|
|Find other flu shot providers||https://vaccinefinder.org/|
|MSDH county clinics||http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/19,0,166,html|
|recommended by the CDC||https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm|
|Flu prevention for caregivers of infants and young children »||https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/infantcare.htm|
|More about diabetes and flu »||https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/diabetes.htm|
|More on Flu and Pregnancy: CDC||https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/pregnant.htm|
|Facts on Flu and Pregnancy||http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/31,5195,299,pdf/FluBriefForWomen.pdf|
|The Role of the Provider||http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/31,5196,299,pdf/FluBriefForProviders.pdf|
|Key Points to Prevent the Spread of Flu in Schools||http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,0,199,818,html|
|Handwashing basics for kids and materials for teachers||http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,6459,330,html|
Find this page at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/index.cfm