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How long and when is flu season?

(5 Posts)
CrawlingInMySkin Tue 25-Jan-11 12:36:19

I am pg first trimester and trying to decide whether to have the flu jab I have been offered. Or wait till September. I have heard a lot about flu season can someone explain when that is and does it mean that you cannot have flu any other time?

MsPaintbrush Tue 25-Jan-11 13:46:51

You can look on the HPA (Health Protection Agency) website for graphs which are released the end of each week to monitor the number of flu cases. I asked my pharmasist this question and he said the flu season lasts until the end of March. However someone I spoke to from NHS direct 'special queries' department said he didn't feel it was typically that long and there was usually a big drop in cases in early March. I don't know if this year will be any different, it's quite confusing to know what's going on with vaccinations still being offered. Whether they feel if they have vaccinations available they may as well give them or it's a response to public demand. Now we are no longer in a pandemic, flu is supposed to return really to the just the flu seasons. I did read that the post-pandemic period can be uncertain though. Normally it's very unlikely to catch flu other times of the year although possible(with people travelling to other countries that are in their flu season) The HPA website also has graphs for previous years for figures and duration of cases so you can compare them.

onimolap Fri 28-Jan-11 19:54:11

You can get flu at anytime.

The flu season is really just an intuitive term to describe the times when it typically appears in the population. In the northern hemisphere, this means from about Oct/Nov to Feb/Mar. It's sometimes just known as the virus season as others, like the winter vomiting bug and the common cold crop up at about the same time.

These viruses are more common in winter as droplets tend to hang around for longer (less sun, damper), people huddle together indoors more, plus the less tangible seasonal depression which may impact on the immune system.

In our summer, the southern hemisphere gets its flu season. In 2009, swine flu spread in both northern and southern hemispheres simultaneously around July. tis is why it was termed pandemic flu (referencing the nature of the spread, not anything else about the disease).

CrawlingInMySkin Sat 29-Jan-11 10:27:19

Thanks both I feel very confused about having this if it was my first I wouldn't but as I have two children already I feel it is unfair to risk my life ( no matter how small that risk is) because there lives will be ruined then sad

MsPaintbrush Tue 01-Feb-11 13:21:59

I know just how you feel.

It's sounds like you have your decision,so remember that you have made it with everyones best interest at heart no matter how it may or may not effect you in the future and don't give yourself a hard time over it.

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