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Most children who die from the flu are not vaccinated.
That's according to a new study from the
According to the
"Every year, the
Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a
"It is impossible to predict which healthy children will develop a mild flu illness with maybe some fever, cough, and runny nose, and which child will develop more severe illness and need to be admitted to hospital or possibly die from influenza infection," she says. "This is why it is important that all children over 6 months of age get vaccinated every year."
Rajapakse says the types of influenza covered in the flu vaccine vary each year based on which viruses are predicted to be circulating during the flu season.
"This is why it is important to get vaccinated every year," she says. "The flu vaccine is safe and one of the best strategies we have to prevent influenza infection."
Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:
- Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius)
- Aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
- Chills and sweats
- Dry, persistent cough
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
Factors that may increase your risk of developing influenza or its complications include:
Seasonal influenza tends to target young children and older adults.
- Living conditions
People who live in facilities along with many other residents, such as nursing homes or military barracks, are more likely to develop influenza.
- Weakened immune system
Cancer treatments, anti-rejection drugs, corticosteroids and HIV/AIDS can weaken your immune system. This can make it easier for you to catch influenza and may also increase your risk of developing complications.
- Chronic illnesses
Chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart problems, may increase your risk of influenza complications.
Pregnant women are more likely to develop influenza complications, particularly in the second and third trimesters. Women who are two weeks postpartum are also more likely to develop influenza-related complications.
People with a body mass index of 40 or more have an increased risk of complications from the flu.
If you're young and healthy, seasonal influenza usually isn't serious. Although you may feel miserable while you have it, the flu usually goes away in a week or two with no lasting effects. But high-risk children and adults may develop complications such as:
- Asthma flare-ups
- Heart problems
- Ear infections
Pneumonia is the most serious complication. For older adults and people with a chronic illness, pneumonia can be deadly.
(Mayo Clinic News Network is your source for health news, advances in research and wellness tips.)
(c)2017 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research Distributed by
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