Infants and young children are at a greater risk for getting seriously ill from the flu. That’s why the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all children six months and older get the seasonal flu vaccine. Below is a summary of information about the flu provided by the NYSDOH and CDC.
What is influenza (flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
- fever (usually high)
- extreme tiredness
- dry cough
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle aches
- stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults
- Although the term “stomach flu” is sometimes used to describe vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea, these illnesses are caused by certain other viruses, bacteria, or possibly parasites, and are rarely related to influenza.
What can I do to protect my family against the flu?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. The flu shot is approved for use among people 6 months of age or older, including healthy people and those with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease). For more information, email the NYS Department of Health visit www.health.ny.gov.