Seasonal Flu FAQs
What You Should Know about Seasonal Flu and CF
Seasonal flu may cause a worsening of chronic health conditions, like cystic fibrosis. Therefore, the information below is important to people with CF.
Every year, people get influenza (the flu) in the fall and winter. That is why it is called “seasonal” flu. The flu shot this year will help protect against different strains of influenza, including the H1N1 flu strain. The best way to prevent the flu, including H1N1 flu, is to get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people ages 6 months and older get the flu vaccine or "flu shot."
Based on the CDC’s recommendations, the Foundation urges everyone with CF and those who live in the same household to:
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding seasonal flu and vaccinations.
The best way to protect against the flu is by doing things to reduce the risk of getting the flue. This also is called "doing good infection prevention and control."
You can do this by:
To learn more about how germs spread, watch the CDC video “Put Your Hands Together.”
The National Institutes of Health provides information on specific alternative options, including scientific information, potential side effects and cautions for each approach at http://nccam.nih.gov.
The symptoms of the flu are:
If you or your child has these symptoms, call your doctor or get medical attention right away.
If you or your child may have the flu, call your doctor. If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from spreading germs.
If children have the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:
If adults have the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:
If you have the flu, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug like Tamiflu®.
Everyone ages 6 months and older should get the seasonal flu vaccine, which protects against different flu viruses like H1N1.
The flu vaccine is an important step in protecting against getting the flu.
Is the flu vaccine one shot or two?
A person with CF should not get the nasal spray flu vaccine. The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use only in healthy people ages 2 to 49 years who are not pregnant. People with a medical condition that places them at high risk for complications from influenza should not get the nasal spray. This includes people with CF.
Seasonal flu vaccinations for people with CF are generally available at CF care centers and through primary care providers. Talk with your CF care center to find out whether they have the vaccine available.
You can find the closest place to get a seasonal flu vaccine from the American Lung Association’s Flu Clinic Locator.
Members of the same household as people with CF should get the flu vaccinations.
If you or your child is sick, you should stay home to rest and get better. Also, staying home helps prevent the spread of germs to others.
You or your child should stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. (The fever should be gone without using a fever-reducing medicine, like acetaminophen or Tylenol®.) A fever is defined as 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius or higher. Children should not take aspirin if they have the flu or any viral infection.
The best way to protect against the flu is by doing good infection control. You and your child can do this by:
We encourage you to talk with your doctor about your or your child’s travel plans if you have concerns.