What do you need to know about the flu? - FOX 35 News Orlando

What do you need to know about the flu?

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

The flu has come on like gangbusters in the last couple of weeks hitting a month earlier than usual. The seasonal flu is one of those things that do not really seem all that bad until you actually catch the flu. So what do you need to know about it? Do you need to get vaccinated?

Walk into any emergency room and they will tell you the flu is here. According to the CDC's Flu Activity and Surveillance Map, Georgia is at "orange" or moderate to high flu levels. Most of the south is already in the bright red.

A third of the way through the flu season and the CDC says less than 40 percent of Americans have actually gotten vaccinated.

Children's Chief of Pediatrics Dr. Jim Fortenberry says if you haven't, get it.

There is a 5 to 20 percent chance of catching the flu each year and getting vaccinated will not protect you 100 percent. For all groups, the vaccine is 60 percent effective. It works better if you are younger and healthy. If offers less protection to seniors and people with health issues.

How much protection you receive from the vaccine depends on how good a match the vaccine is to the flu strains circulating.

"The strains that are in it appear to be very consistent with the kind of flu that's out there. So the flu vaccine does work in help preventing getting the flu, so it's not too late," said Dr. Fortenberry.

The flu is a respiratory virus, usually contagious for about five to seven days after someone first develops symptoms. So it is best to avoid close contact with anyone who appears ill.

Don't touch your mouth, eyes and nose and wash your hands often with soap and water.

Also, make sure if someone in your home or office catches the flu, to wipe down any areas that get touched a lot. This includes door handles, computer keyboards and mice, phones, and any other common surfaces.

If your child is healthy and gets the flu, Dr. Fortenberry says to skip the ER and stay at home. Treat the child with rest, fluids and Tylenol to break the fever.

And if you get sick, make sure not to go to school, work or out in public until at least 24 hours following a fever breaking.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • What's Happening: 2014 Atlanta Steeplechase

    What's Happening: 2014 Atlanta Steeplechase

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-04-16 14:03:02 GMT
    Photos by Mike Soto Photos by Mike Soto
    One of the most exciting horse races in Georgia happens this Saturday at Kingston Downs.
    One of the most exciting horse races in Georgia happens this Saturday at Kingston Downs.
  • Good Day Atlanta

    Stress-Free Travel

    Stress-Free Travel

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-04-16 13:44:27 GMT
    After a particularly long and nasty winter, spring has finally sprung and folks are planning and taking long-awaited vacations. How do you breeze through the terminal and to your gate stress-free?
    After a particularly long and nasty winter, spring has finally sprung and folks are planning and taking long-awaited vacations. How do you breeze through the terminal and to your gate stress-free?
  • Good Day Atlanta

    Back Home with The Neelys

    Back Home with The Neelys

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 9:40 AM EDT2014-04-16 13:40:13 GMT
    The third cookbook from Food Network superstars Pat and Gina Neely brings us back to the basics of good ol' southern family cooking
    The third cookbook from Food Network superstars Pat and Gina Neely brings us back to the basics of good ol' southern family cooking
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices