Dr. Jennifer B. Schroeder, MD Pediatrics

It is that time of year again…flu season is approaching!  You are likely just taking a deep breath thinking that your children are back to school and life is back to normal.  However, back to school means back to germs!  The most important way to ensure a quiet, healthy flu season is by getting yourself and your children vaccinated against the influenza virus.

The influenza virus causes “the flu” which presents as high fever, cough, runny nose, headache, and muscle aches.  This is distinctly different from the “stomach flu,” also known as viral gastroenteritis, which causes vomiting and diarrhea.  It is also much more severe than the common cold and carries a higher risk of complications and hospitalization.  Children less than five years of age (particularly those less than 2 years of age) and those with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, etc are at the highest risk of complications from the virus.  Complications include ear infections, pneumonia, dehydration, and more.  However, the majority of children hospitalized from the influenza virus and its complications are previously healthy kiddos!

In order to protect your children from this miserable illness, we recommend getting them vaccinated against the influenza virus as soon as possible.  Summit Medical Group Oregon Pediatrics will be offering the influenza vaccine beginning in late September.  Any child over 6 months of age should be vaccinated.  If it is their first year being vaccinated against influenza, they will need a booster vaccine one month after the initial dose.  If they have had the vaccine in prior years then they only need one vaccine. The best time to be vaccinated against the flu is before flu season starts! Let’s make this Fall/Winter happy and healthy for all of us who enjoy the many fantastic opportunities that Bend has to offer!

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