About the Flu
Flu refers to illnesses caused by a number of different influenza viruses. Flu can cause a range of symptoms and effects, from mild to lethal. Two strains of flu, seasonal flu and the H1N1 (Swine) flu, are currently circulating in the United States. Most healthy people recover from the flu without problems, but certain people are at high risk for serious complications. A third, highly lethal H5N1 (Bird) flu is being closely tracked overseas. Learn more
Getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid getting either the seasonal or the H1N1 flu. Plan to get a seasonal flu vaccination now and the H1N1 vaccination when it becomes available.
2011-2012 Flu Season, the H1N1 vaccine is included with the seasonal flu vaccine. Learn more
Prevention & Treatment
Washing your hands often and practicing good hygiene are two important steps to prevention. Antiviral medications may be used for prevention and treatment. Learn more
Heakthcaree Professional info from CDC
How effective is the flu vaccine?
Inactivated influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary from year to year and among different age and risk groups. For more information about vaccine effectiveness, visit How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work
How will CDC and FDA get information from the public on any health problems people might experience after influenza vaccination?
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS
) is one of two key systems used to monitor the safety of vaccines, including the influenza vaccines administered during 2011-2012. VAERS is a national program co-managed by CDC and FDA. It serves as an "early warning" system for potential vaccine safety concerns. VAERS receives about 30,000 reports annually of adverse events following immunizations from a variety of sources (such as patients, family members, health care providers, and vaccine manufacturers). Generally, VAERS cannot determine if a vaccine caused an adverse event, but can provide a signal for further investigation.
VAERS will be used during the 2011-2012 flu season to help detect any rare adverse events that need further study.
The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) Project
is the main system used to monitor the safety of 2011-2012 influenza vaccines. The VSD Project
is managed and coordinated by CDC's Immunization Safety Office. Eight large managed care organizations participate in this project, which monitors vaccination data on approximately 9 million people (about 3% of the U.S. population). From these data, project researchers are able to conduct formal studies of adverse events, including those potentially associated with new vaccines or changes in immunization schedules.
Information about the 2011-2012 influenza season, including information about the season's vaccines, vaccination recommendations and disease activity.
The following groups should not receive the flu shot (TIV):
- People who have ever had a severe allergic reaction to eggs. People who have had a mild reaction to egg--that is, one which only involved hives--may receive TIV with additional precautions. Make sure your healthcare provider knows about any allergic reactions.
- People who have ever had a severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine.
- People with a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) that occurred after receiving influenza vaccine and who are not at risk for severe illness from influenza should generally not receive vaccine. Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.
- People under 65 years of age should not receive the high-dose flu shot.
- People who are under 18 years old or over 64 years old should not receive the intradermal flu shot.
- If you are sick with a fever when you go to get your flu shot, you should talk to your doctor or nurse about getting your shot at a later date. However, you can get a flu shot at the same time you have a respiratory illness without fever or if you have another mild illness.
Pregnancy and Flu: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/pregnancyandflu/
The five-six month timetable for influenza vaccine production from isolation of vaccine strain to release first vaccine lots
Development and evaluation of influenza pandemic vaccines: report of WHO expert meeting, 2-3 November 2005
How to Protect Yourself in the Workplace during a Pandemic
Guidance for Clinicians on the Use of Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests
Influenza Diagnostic Testing Algorithm
Seasonal Influenza Testing