In our region, influenza illnesses are most common in late fall and winter. The “flu” causes high fever, achiness, cough and fatigue. It also can lead to pneumonia and even death. Pregnant women, infants and anyone with ongoing medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma have a greater risk of becoming seriously ill from the infection.
The best way to make sure you and your family stay healthy is for everyone over the age of 6 months to receive an influenza vaccine. Because there are many different strains of this virus, you need to get vaccinated every year. Younger children often need two doses of the vaccine to be properly protected. The vaccine is safe, and it works. Contact your health care provider to learn more and schedule your family for flu vaccines soon.
~ Lyn Ranta, MD, director of Physician Affairs, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Dr. Ranta is a co-leader of Children’s Hospital’s immunization initiative, and she treated children as a community pediatrician for more than 20 years.