What You Need To Know About The Flu
Watch Dr. Michael Gottlieb talk about H1N1 on NECN.com!
Click here to watch Dr. Michael Gottlieb, MetroWest Medical Center's Chief Medical Officer answer frequently asked questions about the Flu.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) About the Flu
What is the difference between seasonal flu and H1N1?
The seasonal flu is caused by the strains of virus that have been in the community for years with some, generally minor, variation year to year. H1N1 is a strain of flu that, until recently, was not around in the community so that few people have immunity to it. The seasonal flu viruses generally produce mild disease except in those individuals who have chronic illnesses or conditions that make them susceptible to infection. H1N1 infection has shown an unusual occurrence in younger people and sometimes has produced severe disease in children and younger adults in addition to the usual people prone to infection.
Are vaccines available for both?
Yes. There are vaccines available for both.
If I get one vaccine, will it protect me from both flu types?
No. You need to receive both vaccines to be protected. If available, both vaccines can be administered at the same time as separate inoculations. Again, it is imperative that both vaccines be administered.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
For seasonal flu and H1N1 flu, the symptoms are no different than flu previously. These include muscle aching, fever, cough, wheezing in some individuals, occasional gastrointestinal symptoms, undue fatigue. Not everyone has every symptom but generally fever, feeling “sick” (malaise), and cough are present.
What should I do if I think I have the flu?
Stay home. If you become ill at work, go home. If symptoms are severe, seek medical attention. You should stay home for the greater of 5 days or until you have no fever and no symptoms for 24 hours.
For more information on the Flu, click here.