This Year's Flu and You: What You Need to Know
Stephanie Stephens | Jan 10, 2018
- 0 True
- 1 False
You are correct! You are incorrect!
If you haven't gotten a flu shot already, it's too late for one to make any difference in your health.
The correct answer is 2 - According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), vaccinations help protect you as long as the flu virus is still making its rounds. If it's flu season and you haven't been vaccinated, it's not too late, although the CDC normally recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October. Everyone six months or older should get vaccinated.
Flu activity — meaning the flu is still making people sick — lasts only from November to February.
The correct answer is 2 - Flu seems to have no bounds, sometimes appearing in October, "peaking" in January or February, but even hanging stubbornly around right through May. The CDC tracks all flu activity in the U.S. to help make projections for the next flu season.
For the period Oct. 1 through Dec. 30, 2017, the CDC "characterized" 686 influenza viruses — and that's a lot of viruses. Characterization helps assess how one virus is related to another virus. Which of these influenza viruses did the agency NOT characterize?
The correct answer is 4 – There is no such thing as influenza F.
This most troublesome flu virus now is the H1N1 virus.
The correct answer is 2 – The H3N2 viruses are causing the most trouble for the 2017–2018 flu season, the CDC said in December 2017. When H3N2 viruses predominate, they've proven to be more severe in populations of young children and older adults, and to cause more severe flu in general.
Which of these groups of people are more at risk from the flu and its complications?
The correct answer is 5 – An annual flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family, says the CDC. The above high-risk groups should absolutely get the vaccine, and the more people who get vaccinated overall, the more will be protected. A study last year in Pediatrics reports the flu vaccine significantly reduces a child's risk of death from flu.
Flu shots aren't really necessary.
The correct answer is 2 – Any protection against flu is better than none. Flu vaccines aren't perfect and flu viruses undergo frequent genetic changes. This year's vaccine was used in Australia during our U.S. summer. It was only 10 percent effective in preventing the H3N2 flu that predominated there and similar results are expected here. Experts say it’s still worth getting a flu shot to reduce risk of complications.
Which of these happens when you get the flu?
The correct answer is 5 – Now you know more about the process known as "the flu." Why risk all that by not getting vaccinated?
I'm not sure I have the flu. I understand I can have a flu test to know for sure.
The correct answer is 1 - More reliable tests are called rapid molecular assays that detect genetic material of the flu virus. During a flu outbreak, what's called a positive rapid flu test may show that you have flu, but results can vary, which is not so helpful. You may have flu and the test doesn't show it. Your doctor is in the best position to diagnose you with or without testing.
You can take actions to prevent flu from spreading. Which of these is NOT effective?
The correct answer is 3 – Cough drops may help ease your symptoms temporarily, but they won't inhibit the spreading of flu like those other suggestions.
So, remind me again why I should get a flu shot?
The correct answer is 4 – Even if you have hesitations about "vaccines," do yourself and those you love a favor. Get a flu shot. Your doctor is ready to answer any questions you may have that may be keeping you from getting this very important protection.