Every year, millions of children get sick from the flu, which is a highly contagious viral infection that can lead to serious health complications in children. Experienced pediatric physicians Ramon Ferrand, MD and Alaaeldin Moawad, MD, at Pediatrics of Long Island in Brentwood and Patchogue, New York, offer the flu vaccine to protect your child from the contagious virus, as well as the flu test to diagnose an infection. To schedule your child’s flu shot or test, call the office or book an appointment online today.
The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It infects the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs.
Every year, the flu virus causes widespread illness. Though symptoms range from mild to severe, children are at risk of developing more serious health complications, especially children ages 5 and younger.
The flu vaccine is the best way to protect your child from getting sick.
The flu vaccine triggers your child’s immune system to develop antibodies against the highly contagious virus, which may help prevent illness or significantly reduce symptoms if infected.
Unlike other vaccinations, your child needs to update their flu shot every year. That’s because the influenza virus mutates frequently and you’re likely exposed to a new virus almost every year.
In general, Dr. Ferrand and Dr. Moawad recommend you have your child vaccinated during the first few weeks of October, which is right before flu season starts, so your child’s immune system has enough time to build up the antibodies to fight off the virus. However, your child can still benefit from the flu shot even if it’s given during the height of flu season.
Unfortunately, your child may still get sick from the flu even after vaccination. However, the vaccine can help lessen the severity and duration of symptoms. Common flu symptoms include:
When sick, your child’s flu symptoms may resolve within a week, but they may continue to feel more tired than usual for up to three weeks.
If you suspect your child has the flu, the experienced pediatricians at Pediatrics of Long Island offer an in-office flu test to check for the infection.
The flu test is a diagnostic tool to confirm or rule out if your child has the flu. During the test, your pediatrician swabs the inside of your child’s nose or the back of their throat and conducts a test to look for the virus.
With a rapid in-office flu test, you can have results in less than 30 minutes. However, if the in-office flu test is negative, your pediatrician may send the sample to a lab for additional testing to confirm or rule out an infection.
To schedule your child’s flu vaccination or flu test, contact Pediatrics of Long Island by phone or online today.