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We are bombarded by all the different vaccinations, and ways to stay healthy. So, which ones do we really need? The flu season in most areas of the country is usually from November to April. The influenza virus is generally not dangerous, but its complications can be.

What Is The Flu?

The flu (or common flu) is a viral infection that is spread from person to person in secretions of the nose and lungs, for example when sneezing. Medically, it is referred to as influenza. Flu is a respiratory infection, that is, an infection that develops primarily in the lungs. Respiratory infections caused by other viruses often are called flu, but this is incorrect. Influenza usually causes higher fever, more malaise or fatigue, and severe body aches than other respiratory infections. Although other viruses may cause these symptoms, they do so less commonly.

The CDC recommends that everyone get the flu shot, every year. For one reason or another, some choose not to. If there is a question about getting the flu shot, then I highly recommend it to

– Children ages 6 mos. to 18 yrs. of age

– Elderly (65 years or older)

– Pregnant women

– Those that have a chronic illness – such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, etc.

– Those living in nursing homes or college dormitories

– Health care workers

– Those caring for children under 6 mos. (these children are too young to get the flu shot)

– Family members living with those with a chronic illness

Who Should NOT Get the Flu Vaccination:

  • people with a history of allergic reactions to chicken eggs,
  • those with a history of hypersensitivity to the vaccine,
  • infants less than 6 months of age,
  • those with recent febrile (having fever) illness (although you can be vaccinated if you have a cold or other mild illness without fever),
  • Subsequent vaccination should be avoided for people known to have developed the rare nerve disease Guillain-Barré syndrome within six weeks of a previous vaccination.

Safe and Natural Ways to Prevent The Flu:

1) Vitamin C – to boost your immune system

2) Zinc Lozenges – The can be taken as soon as you develop symptoms to boost your immune system

3) Garlic Capsules – May possibly kill the virus (May make you smell too!)

What Can I Do If I Get The Flu?

If you do get the flu, you can manage flu symptoms by using common sense and pampering yourself a bit during the illness. Here are some tips:

  • Call your doctor within 48 hours of noticing flu symptoms and ask about antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs help decrease flu symptoms and may shorten the duration of the flu if taken early in the illness.
  • Get plenty of rest. Your body needs added rest to fight the viral infection.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated is important when you have fever, and you may need increased liquids to ensure this.
  • Breathe steam. A steamy shower or a bowl of steaming water can help add moisture to dry throats and nasal passages.
  • Seek medical advice. If your flu symptoms worsen or if you have a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, COPD, asthma, or AIDS/HIV, call your doctor. Your doctor can medically assess your symptoms to see if you might need medication or other treatment.
  • Remember, antibiotics can’t help fight the flu virus. In fact, they may lead to antibiotic resistance if taken inappropriately.
  • Eat a nutritious diet to maximize your immune defenses with the flu.
  • Get plenty of restful sleep — seven to nine hours.
  • Keep the flu to yourself. Stay away from family members, colleagues, and friends, because you are contagious for five days after flu symptoms start.

Here is just a little funny – for those whose husbands get the flu!! We all know how that can be.