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Learn More About Ear, Nose & Throat Conditions
Otolaryngologists, also called ear, nose and throat or ENT specialists, treat diseases and injuries affecting the ear, nose and throat, as well as the head and neck.
Whether you're battling a balance disorder, having trouble hearing or simply sick of seasonal allergies, the ENT specialists on the medical staff at Baylor can help you or your family with treatment for many conditions.
Call 1.800.4BAYLOR for a referral to a physician on the medical staff at one of our hospitals.
Get the information you need about the H1N1 virus.
The flu is caused by flu viruses. Flu viruses are divided into 3 types:
A flu virus is often passed from child to child through sneezing or coughing. The virus can also live for a short time on surfaces. This includes doorknobs, toys, pens or pencils, keyboards, phones and tablets, and countertops. It can also be passed through shared eating utensils and drinking. Your child can get a flu virus by touching something that was touched by an infected with person, and then touching his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.
People are most contagious with the flu 24 hours before symptoms start, continuing while symptoms are most active. The risk of infecting others usually stops around day 7 of the illness. Because the flu can be spread before symptoms start, it’s easy to pick up a flu virus. This is true especially with children, who often touch many surfaces and then their mouth, nose, or eyes.
A child is more at risk for the flu if he or she:
Young children and children with certain underlying health conditions are at increased risk for a hospital stay or severe or complicated influenza infection.
The flu is a respiratory disease, but it can affect the whole body. A child can become suddenly ill with any or all of these symptoms:
In some cases, your child may also have symptoms such as:
Most children recover from the flu within a week. But they may still feel very tired for as long as 3 to 4 weeks.
It’s important to note that a cold and the flu have different symptoms:
A cold is usually mild and often goes away after a few days. The flu can cause severe symptoms and lead to problems such as pneumonia and even death. The symptoms of the flu can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. The goal of treatment is to help prevent or ease symptoms.
Treatment may include medicines such as:
Antibiotics aren’t effective against viral infections, so they are not prescribed. Instead, treatment focuses on helping ease your child’s symptoms until the illness passes.
Talk with your healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines.
Also make sure your child:
The best way to prevent flu is to have the yearly flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is given as a shot (injection). A nasal spray is not recommended for the 2017-2018 flu season. The CDC says this is because the nasal spray did not seem to protect against the flu over the last several flu seasons.
Each year, a new flu vaccine is available before the start of the flu season. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions about how vaccines work and how well they prevent flu. The first time a child between the ages of 6 months and 8 years gets a flu vaccine, he or she will need a second flu vaccine one month later.
The vaccine is advised for all children 6 months and older. But for some children, it’s more critical for them to get a flu shot. The flu shot should be given to any child who has any of these:
A flu shot should also be given to:
Some side effects of the vaccine can be like mild flu symptoms, but the vaccine does not cause the flu. Possible side effects of the flu vaccine include:
In addition to the flu vaccine, you can do other things to help reduce your child’s risk of getting the flu. You can also:
And you can help prevent your child spreading the flu to others if you:
Call the healthcare provider if your child has:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
Does your child have the flu? Read more about signs and symptoms.
Influenza (flu) is an easily spread respiratory tract infection. It is caused by a virus. About 5% to 20% of people in the U.S. get the flu each year. The flu usually starts abruptly, with fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and a cough.
The flu can make people of any age sick. Although most people are sick with the flu for only a few days, some have a much more serious illness. They may need to go to the hospital. The flu can also lead to pneumonia and death.
The flu viruses continually change. Currently, three different influenza viruses circulate worldwide. Vaccines given each year to protect against the flu virus strain expected to cause the illness that year.
The flu is caused by a virus. Viruses are generally passed from person to person through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
But the virus can also live for a short time on objects like doorknobs, pens, pencils, keyboards, phones, and cups or eating utensils. So you can also get the flu by touching something that has been recently handled by someone infected with the virus and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes.
Each person may experience symptoms differently. The flu is called a respiratory disease, but it can affect your entire body. People usually become very sick with several, or all, of the following symptoms:
Fever and body aches usually last for 3 to 5 days, but cough and fatigue may last for 2 weeks or more.
The symptoms of the flu may look like other medical problems. Always talk your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
The flu is diagnosed based on your symptoms. Lab tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis, if necessary.
Specific treatment for the flu will be determined by your healthcare provider based on:
The goal of treatment for the flu is to help prevent or decrease the severity of symptoms. Treatment may include:
Talk with your healthcare provider for more information.
The most common complication of the flu is pneumonia. It can also cause serious muscle and central nervous system complications. Of those who get the flu, between 3,000 and 49,000 will die from it or from complications. Most of these deaths happen in people ages 65 and older.
A new flu vaccine is made each fall. Everyone ages 6 months and older should get a flu shot each year. It is usually recommended for specific groups of people, as well as for anyone who wants to avoid having the flu.
The flu shot is safe. The CDC and the FDA closely watch vaccine safety. Hundreds of millions of flu vaccines have been safely given across the country for decades.
The flu shot can’t give you the flu. The most common side effects from a flu shot are:
If you have them at all, these side effects are usually mild and last a short time.
The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from one person to another. It can depend on factors such as age and overall health.
The following may also be helpful for preventing the flu:
The flu causes complications that may develop into a more serious disease or become dangerous to some people. This includes older adults and those with chronic medical problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider to find out if you should receive the flu shot.
Although the flu shot is safe, some people should NOT be vaccinated. These include:
The CDC recommends getting the flu shot every year, as soon as it becomes available in your community. Flu season can begin as early as October and most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February, but flu seasons are unpredictable. The flu shot takes 1 to 2 weeks to become effective.
The CDC recommends that travelers have the flu vaccine at least 2 weeks before planned travel to allow time to develop immunity. Talk with your healthcare provider for more information.
For most people, the flu can be treated at home without treatment from your healthcare provider. However, if your condition or situation makes you more susceptible to complications from the flu, tell your healthcare provider when you suspect you have the flu. If your symptoms get worse or you have new symptoms, let your healthcare provider know.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
What is influenza and why should you get the vaccine?
Learn how to differentiate between the flu and a cold with these tips.
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