It’s not too late to get a flu shot

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - NEWS -

The best way to pro­tect your­self and oth­ers from get­ting or spread­ing the flu this sea­son is by get­ting a flu shot. The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) ad­vises ev­ery­one 6 months or older to get vac­ci­nated, es­pe­cially peo­ple at high risk for de­vel­op­ing se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions from in­fluenza: young chil­dren, adults older than 65, preg­nant women and in­di­vid­u­als with chronic med­i­cal con­di­tions such as asthma, di­a­betes and lung dis­ease or com­pro­mised im­mune sys­tems.

Adults are con­ta­gious one day be­fore get­ting symp­toms and up to five days af­ter get­ting sick. If you think you have the flu, visit your doc­tor or an ur­gent care as soon as pos­si­ble. They may be able to pre­scribe an­tivi­ral drugs to treat flu ill­ness and pre­vent se­ri­ous flu com­pli­ca­tions. High-risk in­di­vid­u­als with the flu are par­tic­u­larly in need of prompt treat­ment.

Symp­toms

The flu is dif­fer­ent from a cold, typ­i­cally com­ing on sud­denly. In­fluenza symp­toms may in­clude:

• Fever* or feel­ing fever­ish/chills (*not ev­ery­one

with flu will have a fever)

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Runny or stuffy nose

• Mus­cle or body aches

• Headaches

• Fa­tigue (tired­ness)

• Vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhea

(more com­mon in chil­dren)

It’s not too late to get a flu shot. Any­one who has not yet been vac­ci­nated is en­cour­aged to get an in­fluenza vac­cine now. Flu shots are avail­able at Siloam Springs Fam­ily Medicine, Siloam Springs In­ter­nal Medicine and North­west Health Ur­gent Care. Visit MyNorth­west Any­care.com to sched­ule an ap­point­ment to­day.

About in­fluenza

Flu is one of the most in­fec­tious dis­eases in the world. Five to 20 per­cent of Amer­i­cans are af­fected by the virus each year and more than 200,000 are hos­pi­tal­ized. Ac­cord­ing to the CDC, the range of flu­as­so­ci­ated deaths in a year ranges from 3,000 to 49,000.

Peo­ple can spread the flu even be­fore they feel sick. Adults are con­ta­gious one day be­fore get­ting symp­toms and up to five days af­ter get­ting sick. Chil­dren, the el­derly, preg­nant women and peo­ple with chronic ill­nesses are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble to catch­ing and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing com­pli­ca­tions from the flu.

Get­ting vac­ci­nated strength­ens your im­mu­nity against the flu and is safer than risk­ing ill­ness.

In ad­di­tion to the flu vac­cine, these good health habits can help pre­vent the flu:

• Avoid close con­tact

with peo­ple who have the flu or symp­toms.

• Stay home when you

are sick.

• Cover nose and mouth

with a tis­sue or the in­side of your el­bow when cough­ing or sneez­ing. Throw tis­sue in the trash af­ter use and per­form good hand hy­giene.

• Fre­quently wash hands

with soap and wa­ter or use an al­co­hol-based hand san­i­tizer.

• Re­sist touch­ing your

eyes, nose and mouth.

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