September 29, 2010

As the flu shot season rolls in silently (in comparison to last year’s hysteria about the H1N1 that caused so much devastation) it becomes important to look at facts and myths about the flu shot.

Facts about the Flu shot:
This year’s flu shot should protect us against :H3N2, Influenza B, and H1N1 viruses.

The flu shot is recommended for all above age of 6 months.

The American college of physicians recommends for :

1.All above the age of 50 years.
2.People with chronic medical illnesses like Diabetes, Asthma,Chronic heart disease,anemia and blood disorders.
3.People with reduced immunity like patients on steroids, having HIV/AIDS,or receiving cancer treatment.
4.People living in long term care facilities.
5. Health care workers and their families
6.Women in the 3 rd trimester of their pregnancy in the flu season.
7.Children 6 months of age and above, with no history of egg allergy.

Flu shot reduces hospitalisations in the above population and in the elderly in long term care facilities it reduces the risk of dying by 80%.

Myths about the flu:
Myth: It’s not more than a common cold
Truth:It can be a deadly viral infection. Usualy starts off as a sudden onset of chills with muscle pain , may be associated with fever, cough nasal congestion. Can rapidly progress to respiratory failure more so in certain risk groups.

Myth:I got the Flu vaccine last year so I do not need one this year
The truth: evey year everyone should be getting the flu vaccine. The strains of the virus changes slightly and the seasonal vaccine will be geared toward this season’s vaccine.

Myth: I do not get the Flu
Truth: We can be silent carriers. You may not have the symptoms of the flu but you can potentially spread the infection. So prevent the transmission by getting immunised.

Myth: The flu shot can give the flu.
Truth: No, it is very protective. It is made of viral proteins. once immunized you may get a milder respiratory infection caused by other winter viruses. If you have the “FLu” after the vaccine then you were probably exposed to it prior to the vaccincation. It take 7 to 10 days for the vaccine to take effect.

Myth:The shot can make me sick
Truth:Besides a reaction at the local site,pain and redness, some people do experience “feeling under the weather” as the body develops antibodies. So yes, some may experience slight upper respiratory symptoms.

Prevention: Steps:

1. Immunize: Do this early and surely.
2. Sanitize: Wash hands after activities and teach children to do the same.
3. Excercise: Drink plenty of water and walk everyday to keep up your health.

Flu IQ


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