Sugar and Spice Advice on coping with the flu

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Fall has arrived and the flu season will be here as well. What can be done?

Fever, chills, headache, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, and muscle aches are no fun. These are the constellation of symptoms that make up the flu. The flu lasts for several days. For those with chronic heart or lung disease or those with immune systems that are compromised, the flu can be dangerous. It can lead to pneumonia and other things.

For those persons with chronic health problems or are immunocompromised, the flu vaccine is the key to protection. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend an annual flu vaccine for all people ages 6 months and older. Getting a flu shot is an individual decision. Flu shots can help prevent the flu and they can lessen the severity of symptoms . The flu vaccine takes about 2 weeks to give maximum immunity. The best time to get the vaccine is from September to mid-November. This is about 6 to 8 weeks before flu season.

The following information was just announced by the CDC on 9/7: The inhaled nasal flu vaccine is not to be given to children under the age of 6. It has proven to be ineffective for that age range. The CDC is recommending that children under 6 receive the injection.

Those with allergies to eggs, thimerosol, or have had an allergic reaction to the flu shot in the past should not receive the flu shot.

If you get the flu get plenty of bed rest and fluids. Use over the counter aspirin or acetaminophen. When ill stay away from others as much as possible to avoid getting them sick. Wear a mask if you have one. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash hands often to keep from spreading the flu. Handwashing is a great idea any time. Don’t be surprised if your doctor doesn’t give you antibiotics for the flu. A virus causes the flu and antibiotics don’t work on viruses.

Wishing you good health!

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