Nobody wants to get influenza, it’s a nasty disease that is sure to knock you off your feet for a week or two. It can be a miserable time, but for some healthy individuals, it can be deadly. This is even true of children.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says that between October 2004 and September 2012, 830 children died from influenza. The median age of kids who died was 7. Researchers also found that 43 percent of these children had no high-risk medical conditions. These children were more likely to die before being admitted to the hospital, and within three days of feeling symptoms.
Thirty-three percent of children who died from complications from influenza had neurologic disorders and 12 percent had genetic or chromosomal disorders.
The CDC recommends children six months and older get a flu vaccine, and get it now. The flu season is expected to begin within weeks, and it takes two weeks to develop an immune response after receiving the flu shot. In fact, the CDC recommends everyone get a flu shot.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat, and lungs and can lead to serious complications, including pneumonia and bronchitis. The flu can also worsen diabetes, asthma and heart and lung disease.
The flu can be mild or serious. Symptoms include: fever, feeling feverish/having chills, cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, headache, fatigue, and sore throat. Nausea and vomiting can also occur, but are more common in children.
Children more commonly need medical care because of the flu, especially those younger than 5. Severe flu complications are most common in children younger than 2.