Monday, September 9, 2013


                             



 Muscle Aches, Fever, and Cough, Oh My!
Influenza is a respiratory virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. The best way to prevent flu is to get an annual flu shot. 

Flu symptoms include fever, chills, and cough, sore throat, and muscle aches. Older people in assisted living centers, young children, pregnant women, and those with asthma, diabetes, cancer, AIDS, and heart disease have higher risk for getting the flu.   

People sick with flu can infect others a day before symptom onset and five to seven days after getting sick. Young children and those with weakened immune systems could infect others for a longer period of time. 

Flu complications include bacterial pneumonia, ear and sinus infection, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, including heart failure, asthma, and diabetes.

There are three types of flu vaccines. Inactivated, which contains the killed virus, injected into the upper arm. It is approved for people age six months and older, including healthy people with long-term medical conditions and pregnant women. This is the bulk of vaccine supply.

Nasal spray vaccine is an option for healthy people two to forty nine years of age and women who aren’t pregnant. Those who live with or care for people in a high risk group can receive nasal-spray vaccine if they are healthy and not pregnant. An exception is health care providers who care for people with weakened immune systems or who are hospitalized. In this case, the inactivated vaccine is recommended.  

A high-dose vaccine for people sixty five and older which also is intramuscular. This vaccine was first made available during the 2010-2011 season.
Those who should not be vaccinated include people with chicken egg allergy, those who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past, and children younger than six months. People who have a severe illness or fever should wait to get vaccinated till symptoms improve or resolve.
Questions? Contact Dr. Clem at clementhanson.blogspot.com

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