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Dr. Puppet

Flu Season Information

Following is information specific to the 2014-15 flu season.

2014-15 Flu Season:

How do I schedule an appointment at the Washoe County Health District?

Scheduling an appointment.

Find Other Flu Vaccine Locations in Nevada:

Visit Community and Clinical Health Services Fees for type and costs of flu and other vaccines.

Currently we have limited doses of FluMist available for adults or children with private pay insurance. We have limited doses of preservative free quadrivalent inactivate influenza vaccine for children 6-35 months of age with private pay insurance.

View our "I Got It, I Didn't Get It" video.

Seasonal Influenza (flu) is more than just a cold

Seasonal flu is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses. It is the leading cause of illness, hospitalizations and deaths out of all of the combined vaccine preventable diseases in the United States.

Annual vaccination to prevent flu is your best protection. It will help to increase your chance of staying well and reduce the possibility of transmitting the flu to others. Plan to get your flu vaccination as soon as possible.

Seasonal Influenza: Flu Basics:

Who should get vaccinated?

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that EVERYONE aged 6 months and older be vaccinated each year to protect against the flu. For many vaccine recipients, more than one type or brand of vaccine may be appropriate within indications and ACIP recommendations. Where more than one type of vaccine is appropriate and available, no preferential recommendation is made for use of any influenza vaccine product over another.

Preventing Seasonal Flu with Vaccination:

Vaccination to prevent flu is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for developing complications from flu. These high risk groups include:

  • Children aged 6 months through 5 years (59 months).
  • Adults aged 50 years and older.
  • Persons with chronic lung (including asthma), heart, kidney, liver, neurological (examples such as seizures, strokes, spinal cord injuries) blood or metabolic diseases (examples such as anemia and diabetes).
  • Persons who are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by medications, radiation treatments, or by human immunodeficiency virus).
  • Women who are pregnant or will be pregnant during the influenza season.
  • Children aged 6 months through 18 years receiving long-term aspirin therapy, who might be at risk for developing Reye syndrome after influenza infection.
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
  • Persons who are morbidly obese (body mass index >= 40).
  • Residents of long-term care facilities.

Vaccination of persons who live with or care for persons at increased risk for developing complications from flu is also recommended. These include:

  • Household contacts and caregivers of children aged less than 5 years and adults aged 50 years and older, with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children aged less than 6 months who are too young to be vaccinated.
  • Household contacts and caregivers of persons with medical conditions.
  • Healthcare personnel (includes anyone one who has contact with patients).

Information for specific groups, including children.

Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine:

The influenza vaccine viral strains for 2014-15 influenza season include:

  • Trivalent Influenza Vaccines contain:
    • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus;
    • A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus;
    • B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus (Yamagata)
  • Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccines contain:
    • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
    • A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus;
    • B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus (Yamagata)
    • B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (Victorian)

Preventive Actions to Stop the Spread of Germs

Information from the Center of Disease Control (CDC)

Everyday preventive actions are step that people can take to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory illness, like flu.

They are not a substitute for vaccination.

These include the following personal and community actions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, drink plenty of water, be physically active, and manage your stress.
  • Try to avoid contact with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Influenza viruses can survive on hard surfaces up to 8 hours.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sneeze or cough into the corner of your elbow. This will block the spread of droplets from your mouth or nose that could contain germs.
  • If you or your child gets sick with a respiratory illness, like flu, limit contact with others as much as possible to help prevent spreading illness. Stay home (or keep your child home) for at least 24 hours after fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medicine except to seek medical care.
  • If an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs, follow your healthcare providers or Health District’s advice.

How do I know if I have the flu?

You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Body aches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Headache
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever*
  • Chills
  • Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting (occurs more commonly in children)

*It’s important to note that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you get sick with flu-like symptoms this flu season, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

However, some people are at increased risk for developing flu-related complications. If they get flu symptoms this season they should talk to their healthcare provider as soon as possible. Antiviral medications are available to help reduce the severity of the disease if administered soon after symptoms begin. They are not a substitute for getting an annual flu vaccination.

What should I do while I’m sick?

Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick. If you must leave home, (for example to get medical care), wear a facemask if you have one, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or cough and sneeze into the corner of your elbow. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others.

Do I need to go to the emergency room if I am only a little sick?

No. The emergency room should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill. If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your healthcare provider for advice. If you go to the emergency room and you are not sick with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it.

What are the emergency warning signs?

In children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
  • Being unable to eat
  • Having no tears when crying

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting (vomiting that goes on)
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

The Flu: What to Do if You Get Sick:

Misconceptions about Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines:

Inactivate Influenza Vaccine Information Statement (Flu Shot):

Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine Information Statement (Nasal Spray):

Additional Seasonal Influenza Questions and Answers:

Flu Activity and Surveillance:

For More Information on Flu: