Are you concerned about flu season? It may seem like a long time from now, but that does not mean that it has not already started in some areas. This past week, a 46-year-old mother of three in Florida died due to complications from pneumonia and type A influenza. According to Fox News, Nicole Arnold had been caring for children with the illness and had visited a doctor’s office with them several times before developing the illness herself.
Even if the flu has not made it to your part of the country, getting the vaccine before flu season begins offers the best level of protection according to the Centers for Disease Control. While they recommend that everyone over the age of 65 get the vaccine before the end of October this year, getting it ahead of time can help to avoid early cases of the flu.
Just keep in mind that the flu vaccine is unlikely to offer full protection from the virus. While standard vaccines, as well as nasal sprays, have been created with the viruses that are most likely to spread this year, they do not protect against all types of flu, and there is a probability that types may spread that this year's vaccine will not prevent. Because of this, it is a good idea to practice other types of prevention including hand washing, avoiding face touching, and avoiding people who may have the illness.
It may also be a good idea to stock up on necessary items in case you do catch the flu. While your doctor may prescribe an antiviral, there are also things that you should have at home to stay hydrated and keep your fever from getting too high. Consider stocking a decongestant, a fever reducer such as Advil or Tylenol, an electrolyte replacement to avoid dehydration, and easy to make foods such as soup.
According to the CDC, common flu symptoms include fever and chills, a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue.
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