Flu Archives - Nemours Blog


Protect Your Family From the Flu

Protect Your Family From the Flu

This year, it’s more important than ever to get the flu vaccine. There has been so much focus on COVID-19 this year that many people may not even realize that flu season has already begun. For many people, the flu is more than a seasonal annoyance, it can be dangerous. And as COVID-19 continues to spread during this 2020-2021 flu season, it’s extra important to get a flu vaccine for all family members as soon as possible. The flu virus spreads easily from person to person. It gets into our lungs and airways and can turn into serious illnesses like pneumonia. The flu is especially dangerous for babies. It can also be serious for kids and adults with health problems like asthma or diabetes. Why Does My Family Need a Flu Vaccine This Year? Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you from the flu, it also helps protect the […]

7 Flu Myths, Debunked

7 Common Flu Myths, Debunked

When flu season hits, what usually follows is a barrage of flu myths and misinformation. The flu, which is often accompanied by a fever, a cough, a sore throat and congestion, is a severe illness that kills between 20,000 and 30,000 Americans each year — including children. “Some people feel that it’s not a big deal and they can tough it out, but some kids are hospitalized due to pneumonia because of the flu, and others die every year because of it,” said Dr. Jonathan Miller, general pediatrician and Medical Director of Value-Based Care at Nemours Children’s Health System. “It’s a very serious disease.” The flu can lead to pneumonia, inflammation of the heart or brain, organ failure, or sepsis, all of which can result in death. That’s why it’s so important to take proper precautions against catching or spreading the flu, including getting the influenza vaccine and staying home […]

The Flu–When to Go From R&R to the ER

There are steps you can take to avoid the flu coming into your house. While there’s no guaranteed way — including being vaccinated — to have 100% protection from the flu, there are things you and your family can do to make spreading the flu less likely: Wash your hands well and often with soap, especially after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and before eating or preparing food. Never pick up used tissues. Don’t share cups and eating utensils. Stay home from work or school when you’re sick with the flu. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then put it in the trash. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your upper arm, not into your hands. But what if your child does catch the flu? When should you switch from R&R to the ER? Nemours pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Chris Makris, […]

Cold & Flu Season – Does Your Child Need Antibiotics? , Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Cold & Flu Season – Does Your Child Need Antibiotics?

It’s that time of year – your kids come home from school or their extra-curricular activities and show signs or complain of a sore throat, cough, and/or a runny nose. Are antibiotics in order? The answer may surprise you! Viruses vs. Bacterial Infections To best understand whether your child needs antibiotics, it’s helpful to know the difference between viruses and bacteria, which are the two major types of germs that cause sickness. Although certain bacteria and viruses cause diseases with similar symptoms, the ways these two organisms multiply and spread illness are different. Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses. Bacteria are living organisms that exist as single cells. They can live in all types of environments, from extreme cold to extreme heat. They’re everywhere and most don’t cause any harm. In some cases they may actually be helpful, like when they live in your intestines and help digest food. The bacteria that are […]

Grape Juice to Treat Stomach Flu? by Jordan Smallwood, MD. Promise: Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Grape Juice to Treat Stomach Flu? Not So Fast.

For generations, parents and families have relied on home cures for everything from colds to tummy aches and sleepless nights. Chicken soup, popsicles and warm milk have proven themselves over decades of use, and now they have company — grape juice. At least, that’s what the internet says. In recent months, tales of grape juice curing stomach flu have cropped up on parenting blogs all over the web. Here’s the idea: If you find yourself (or one of your family members) exposed to the stomach flu, but haven’t experienced symptoms yet, downing three glasses of grape juice will ward off the illness. Multiple sites claim that the grape juice can change the pH in the stomach, making it uninhabitable to stomach viruses. They also claim that the skins of the grapes have anti-viral properties. Is it true? Can grape juice really stop puke in its tracks? Is this the fix […]

Boy getting shot because FluMist not available this year

No More FluMist: Now What?

The flu is usually far from our minds in summertime, but an announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the nasal spray vaccine FluMist has put influenza back at the forefront. Come this fall, the FluMist nasal spray won’t be offered to anyone — flu shots will be the only option available for the young and old. If you have kids who panic at the mere mention of a needle, here’s what you need to know. The Lowdown on the FluMist News Recently, a CDC committee made up of a panel of immunization experts announced that they were no longer recommending FluMist for the upcoming 2016-2017 flu season. The FluMist nasal spray is the only flu vaccine that comes in a form other than an injection (shot). You may have heard FluMist referred to by the more formal name “live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV).” So why […]

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