Seasonal Flu - Influenza
Good health habits are measures that businesses can use to help prevent the spreading of the flu as well as educators and staff.
From October through April, Kane County Health Department tracks influenza activity in our county by monitoring:
- Visits to Emergency Departments for Influenza-Like-Illness
- Hospital laboratory testing for influenza
- Absenteeism in schools grades K-12
Kane County Health Department's immunization phone line: 630-444-3188
What is Influenza (also called flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Symptoms of the Flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle or body aches
- fatigue (very tired)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
How the Flu Spreads
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes, or nose.
Period of Contagiousness
You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.
How Serious is the Flu?
Flu is unpredictable and how severe it is can vary widely from one season to the next depending on many things, including:
- what flu viruses are spreading
- how much flu vaccine is available
- when vaccine is available
- how many people get vaccinated
- how well the flu vaccine is matched to flu viruses that are causing illness
Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. In the United States, thousands of healthy adults and children have to visit the doctor or are hospitalized from flu complications each year and some die. Studies going back to 1976 have found that flu-related deaths ranged from a low of 4,700 to a high of 56,600 (average 25,500).
During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older. During 2009-2010, a new and very different flu virus (called 2009 H1N1) spread worldwide causing the first flu pandemic in more than 40 years. It is estimated that the 2009 H1N1 pandemic resulted in more than 12,000 flu-related deaths in the U.S. In contrast to seasonal flu, nearly 90 percent of the deaths occurred among people younger than 65 years of age.
What You Need to Know About the Flu Vaccine
A seasonal vaccine is distributed routinely every year. While there are many different flu viruses, this year the majority of flu vaccines protects against the four viruses that research suggests will be most common. The 2019-20 influenza vaccine are made to protect against the following four viruses:
- A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated)
- A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus (updated)
- B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria lineage) virus
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus
All regular dose flu shots for the current season are quadrivalent.
For more information on the 2019-2020 flu vaccine recommendations please go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2019-2020.htm
Other Flu Strains currently being tracked by the CDC:
Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Virus
What is New for 2019 - 2020 Flu Vaccines?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends use of any licensed age-appropriate flu vaccine for this season. Vaccination is recommended to be received by end of October. People with severe egg allergies can receive any licensed flu vaccine but in a medical setting under the supervision of a health care provider who can recognize and manage severe allergic reactions.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) continues to recommend influenza vaccination for all children starting at six months of age except where medically contraindicated. The following are AAP updates for the current flu season:
1. Both inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) and live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) are recommended for children with no preference.
2. All pediatric influenza vaccines this year are quadrivalent vaccines. The age indication for some pediatric vaccines has been expanded; therefore, there are now 4 egg-based quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV4s) licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for administration to children 6 months and older, 1 inactivated cell-based quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (cIIV4) for children 4 years and older, and 1 quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) for children 2 years and older. No trivalent vaccines are expected to be available for children this season.
3. New formulations of licensed influenza vaccines with a volume of 0.5 mL per dose have been approved for children 6 through 36 months of age. Children 6 through 35 months of age may now receive either the 0.25- or 0.5-mL dose, with no preference, and children ≥36 months of age (3 years and older) continue to receive a 0.5-mL dose.
4. Children 6 months through 8 years of age who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time or who have received only 1 dose before July 1, 2019, should receive 2 doses of influenza vaccine ideally by the end of October, and vaccines should be offered as soon as they become available. Children needing only 1 dose of influenza vaccine, regardless of age, should also receive vaccination ideally by the end of October.
5. A new antiviral medication has been licensed for treatment of influenza in children.
Observed the first full week of December:
Stop the Flu, It Starts With You Flyer 8.5 x 11, English
Stop the Flu, It Starts With You Flyer 8.5 x 11, Spanish
Stop the Flu, It Starts With You Poster 11 x 17, English
Stop the Flu, It Starts With You Poster 11 x 17, Spanish
Stop the Flu for Children Flyer 8.5 x 11, English
Stop the Flu for Children Flyer 8.5 x 11, Spanish
Stop the Flu for Children Poster 11 x 17, English
Stop the Flu for Children Poster 11 x 17, Spanish
Cover Your Cough Flyer English
Cover Your Cough Flyer Spanish
Preventive Actions to Fight Germs
Simple Ways to Stay Healthy English
Simple Ways to Stay Healthy Spanish
What to do if you think your child has the flu KCHD English
What to do if you think your child has the flu KCHD Spanish
News & Health Alerts
Flu Resources for Public Health Communicators
Take Time to Get the Flu Vaccine CDC
Businesses & Employers
Schools & Childcare Providers
People at High Risk
Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Virus
Stay connected to the latest informationon flu prevention at: