Flu season has begun and precautionary measures against it should be first on your shopping list! The flu, or influenza, is a viral infection originating from birds. Most flu outbreaks happen in late fall and winter. Each year flu vaccinations are made available, free of charge, by medical facilities and healthcare providers. Severe conditions of the flu have been known to be fatal so it is important to protect you and your family against this virus. As a matter fact, a recent study found that the flu vaccination may actually help prevent cardiovascular events. This study has yet to be concluded. According to the Cleveland Clinic a flu vaccination may prevent cardiovascular events; however, there is no “definitive proof that flu shots act directly to lower the risk of heart incidents.” www.clevelandclinic.org
If you have any of the following, it is suggested that you get a flu shot:
- Chronic lung disease [including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)]
- Live in a long-term assisted living facility
- A weak immune system (including people with AIDS)
- Are 50 and older
- Pregnant women
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of the flu are to: fever, headache, cough, sore or dry throat, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Some people may experience diarrhea and nausea. “The symptoms usually are the worst for the first 3 or 4 days. But it can take 1 to 2 weeks to get completely better.” www.cdc.gov
The CDC recommends annual “flu shots for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season.” www.cdc.gov Also, as a precaution you can protect yourself and your family against the flu just by taking simple daily steps like keeping your distance from those who are already sick with the flu, wash hands regularly and if you are sick, or even think you’re sick from the flu, stay home!
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