HEALTHY LIVING- PROTECTING GOD’S GIFTS Flu Prevention The flu vaccine is one of the best defenses against influenza, a viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs that can lead to serious complications like pneumonia or even death. Each year, about 200,000 people in that U.S. are hospitalized and about 36,000 die because of the illness. Avoid the flu by getting vaccinated. It's important to get vaccinated at the right time. October and November are the best months. December or later can still be of benefit because the flu infections can occur between November through May but most often peak in January or February. Protection develops up to two weeks after someone is vaccinated and last up to a year. The Center for Disease Control recommends that persons 65 years and older receive the high dose flu vaccine which is designed to create a stronger immune response. The flu is contagious. It spreads through coughs and sneezes or when a person comes in contact with the influenza virus and then touches his/her eyes , nose or mouth. Make sure to wash your hands often or use alcohol based hand sanitizer and stay away from sick people. Recognize flu symptoms early so that you can take appropriate steps as soon as you suspect that you are sick. Common symptoms include: - Fever (usually high) - Headache - Extreme tiredness - Dry cough - Sore throat - Runny or stuffy nose - Muscle aches If you get the flu stay home, rest and drink plenty of fluids. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze to keep from infecting others. Most people can get better at home without medical care, but some have a higher risk of complications and should see a doctor as soon as possible, including 5 years and younger, adults 65 and older, pregnant women or persons who have other medial issues such as asthma, heart disease or who are immunocompromised...
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