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causes influenza (flu)?
are two main types of influenza viruses, type A and type B, that cause
influenza in humans.
Q. What are the symptoms of influenza?
Influenza usually comes on suddenly, one to four days after the virus enters
the body, and may include these symptoms:
- Fever or
- Runny or
or body aches
(can be extreme)
Among children, otitis media (ear infection), nausea, vomiting,
and diarrhea are common. Some persons who are infected with the influenza virus
do not have symptoms.
can a person spread influenza to another person?
healthy adults who are ill with influenza may be able to infect other people
beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming
sick. Children and persons with weakened immune systems might be able to infect
other people for even a longer period of time. The virus can also be
spread by people who are infected but have no symptoms.
is the “official” influenza season?
A. Most influenza activity
usually occurs from October to May in the United States even though influenza viruses
have been detected year round.
A new influenza season begins the first week of October and goes
through the third week in May. However, Texas conducts influenza
surveillance year around.
other respiratory viruses circulate during the flu season?
A. There can be other
respiratory viruses that circulate during the flu season and can cause similar
symptoms and illness as influenza. Some other respiratory viruses that
may circulate during influenza season include:
Syncytial Virus (RSV),
should people get vaccinated against the flu?
A. Influenza is a serious
disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death. Every flu season
is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even
healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an
estimated 23,607 (range 3,349-48,614) influenza-associated deaths and over
200,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations occur every year in the United
During “flu season”, flu viruses are circulating at higher
levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way
to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others.
When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through
should get vaccinated this season?
A. All persons aged 6 months and
older are recommended for annual vaccination, with rare exception. There
is special consideration regarding people that have an egg allergy.
People who have ever had a severe allergic reaction to eggs can
get recombinant flu vaccine if they are 18 years and older or they should get
the regular flu shot (IIV) given by a medical doctor with experience in
management of severe allergic conditions. People who have had a mild reaction
to egg—that is, one, which only involved hives—may get a flu shot with
additional safety measures. Recombinant flu vaccines also are an option for
people if they are 18 years and older and they do not have any
contraindications to that vaccine. Make sure your doctor or health care
professional knows about any allergic reactions. Most, but not all, types of
flu vaccine contain a small amount of egg.
Should Not Be Vaccinated?
A. These group of people
should not get the flu shot:
younger than 6 months are too young to get a flu shot
with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the
vaccine. This might include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients
viruses are included in the 2016-2017 influenza vaccine?
A. It was recommended that
trivalent vaccines for use in the 2016-2017 influenza season (Northern
Hemisphere winter) contain the following:
A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus;
B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (B/Victoria lineage).
It was recommended that quadrivalent vaccines
containing two influenza B viruses contain the above three viruses and a
B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata lineage).
is the DSHS Central Office Influenza Surveillance Team?
A. The members of the DSHS
Influenza Surveillance Team are:
Johnathan Ledbetter Epidemiologist / Influenza Surveillance
Robert “Bob” Russin ILINet
Lesley Brannan Epidemiologist / Respiratory Team
can people find influenza data besides the DSHS Influenza webpages?
A: People may find influenza data at the following
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Defense:
Flu Near You: