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Is it a Cold or the Flu?

Flu Season is Here

  • Did you know that colds could happen any time of the year but, flu season usually happens from about October to April every year?
  • Did you know that there is no medicine to stop you from getting a cold? (Hand-washing does help.) But there is a flu shot to help you from getting sick with the flu.
  • Did you know that for the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending that all people six months and older get an annual influenza vaccination?

Good News!

  • This year the drug companies made one flu vaccine to help protect you against three kinds of flu, including H1N1 (swine flu).
  • Most people will only need a one-dose flu shot. (Sometimes more than one shot was needed in past years.) Note: Children under nine years of age may need more than one shot and the elderly may get different flu medicine choices. There are also some people who are just too sick with other health issues who can't get a flu shot due to them maybe getting sicker from the shot.

What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu from Getting You?

Talk with your doctor now! The hope is that everyone who can get a flu shot, gets one this year before flu season starts. Don't wait until you or your family members are sick.

Not So Good News for People at High Risk

Getting the flu can be very serious and even deadly for those adults and children that are "high-risk." High-risk means that certain people may get sicker than normal if they get the flu. It also means that certain people may give the flu to someone else who may get sicker.

Some Examples of High-Risk People:

  • Children less than five years old
  • Adults 50 years and older
  • Those sick with: asthma, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, HIV
  • People in nursing homes
  • Pregnant women or those who may be pregnant during flu season
  • Health care givers
  • Household contacts and caregivers for children less than five and adults 50 or older

Common Flu Symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Overall sick feeling
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever (100 degrees or higher that lasts two to five days)

For more facts about the flu, visit cdc.gov Link Opens in a New Window.

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