The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. Learn more facts about the flu, how serious it can be, how to treat it and how your child can avoid the it altogether.

Flu season is right around the corner. We now have flu vaccines for the 2012-2013 season. Both the intranasal (FluMist) & the injectable versions of the vaccine are available at Southwest Pediatrics. We recommend that all children over 6 months of age receive the seasonal flu vaccine. Further, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend special emphasis on flu vaccination for children under 2 years of age and those with chronic medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes. Protecting yourself against the flu is important to help avoid complications of the virus such as pneumonias. Getting your flu vaccine now rather than in the middle of winter is a great idea because it takes a few weeks to build up immunity and the vaccine confers immunity for an entire year. Don’t forget to ask about getting vaccinated at your next appointment!