Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a respiratory infection that can cause severe health complications, especially in young kids and older adults. Flu vaccines are the most effective way to prevent the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone ages 6 months and older obtain the flu vaccine each year.
The flu shot and nasal mist are two types of flu vaccines. Hundreds of millions of Americans have received flu shots to prevent or decrease the severity of the flu. The flu shot contains an inactivated vaccine typically administered with a needle. The nasal spray flu vaccine in a weakened vaccine administered through the nose. The seasonal flu vaccine is typically available beginning late summer or early fall. It generally takes two weeks after receiving a flu vaccine to build up your immunity.
In 2011, the CDC announced the release of new flu test kits capable of identifying the swine flu (H1N1), traditional flu type A and B viruses and the deadly avian flu virus (H5N1). The kit effectively identifies flu types from upper and lower respiratory samples collected from patients. These flu test kits kits are also decreasing diagnostic costs as compared to older kits.