Click here for information for parents about
flu in schools (from the Department of Public Health)
Fast facts for flu fighting
Influenza is a serious illness that can cause pneumonia,
encephalitis and death in young children and the elderly. Approximately
20,000 children are hospitalized for influenza-related illnesses in the US each
year and 77% are under 5 years old. An average of 92 influenza-associated
deaths occur among children under age 5 each year.
Influenza-related hospital stays cost from $7,030 for milder
cases to $39,792 for severe cases. The average cost of hospitalization for
influenza is $13,159 (2004 US dollars).
Protect yourself and your family from the flu
Get vaccinated every year: Everyone in your family should
be vaccinated to keep from spreading flu virus to infants under 6 months old,
young children, and the elderly since these groups are at high risk for sever
The CDC recommends that all children aged 6 months to 18 years
of age get an influenza vaccination every year.
There are two types of influenza vaccine (TIV and LAIV).
Both contain three different viruses which change each year based on scientists'
estimates of which influenza types will be circulating
The flu shot (TIV) - An inactivated vaccine (containing
dead virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. It is
approved for both healthy and chronically ill people over 6 months of age.
The flu nasal spray (LAIV) - An active vaccine
(containing weakened, live virus) that is given by spray in each nostril.
It is approved for non-pregnant, healthy people aged 2 to 49 years old.
About 2 weeks after vaccination, your body develops antibodies to protect you
from infection. Children aged 6 months to 8 years who have never been inoculated
should be vaccinated twice with at least 4 weeks in between shots to ensure they
develop a strong enough defense against the virus. Children ;who received
2 influenza vaccinations last year should receive 1 dose every following year.
Influenza peak activity has occurred in the past as early as November and as
late as May. While October or November is the best time to get vaccinated,
vaccination should begin as soon as possible and continue until the season is
Who should not get vaccinated
Some people should consult their physician before getting an influenza