Flu Season: Make sure you get the Flu Shot

October 10, 2015

Hey Lovelies,

It is Flu Season! Have you gotten the Flu Vaccine?  If you haven't, and you live in Flu endemic areas, this is a good time to get the Flu Vaccine, and here are a few reasons why;

1) The Vaccine will protect you from getting the Flu, and if you do get the Flu, you will have a milder form.

2)  The Flu vaccination can help protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, people with chronic health conditions and young children (especially infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to get vaccinated).

3)  The vaccination helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to 6 months after they are born. One study showed that giving flu vaccine to pregnant women was 92% effective in preventing hospitalization of infants for flu.

4)  Protecting yourself from flu also protects the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.

I always get asked by my patients, "Does getting the Flu Vaccine mean I will not get the Flu?"
The simple answer to that question is NO.  This is because the ability of flu vaccine to protect a person depends on various factors, including the age and health status of the person being vaccinated, and also the similarity or “match” between the viruses used to make the vaccine and those circulating in the community.

The second most common question that I get is, "Will I get the Flu, if I get the Flu Vaccine?" Again, the answer is NO. A flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with flu viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine)

If you choose not the get the Flu Vaccine, at least know the signs and symptoms, because when you get sick with the Flu, you need to get treated with an Anti-Viral medication. The medication is most effective if taken within 48 hours of the onset of getting the Flu. There are 2 medications used to treat the Flu in the U.S., and you need a Doctor's prescription to get them, and they are Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza) 

Signs and Symptoms of the Flu include;

  • A 100oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
The Flu is generally worse than the common cold, although it is generally difficult to tell the difference.  Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Plus, your health care provider can test for the Flu.

What should you do, if you get the Flu?  

See your doctor!

You can get the Flu Shot from your doctor's office, and several retail pharmacies.

Questions? Concerns? Comments? Feel free to leave them below, or send me an email.

Thank you for stopping by,

Be Well!


Information sources: CDC.gov, flu.gov
Image sources: google images

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