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Monday, March 18 2019 @ 08:45 PM EDT


Medical Tips

The Flu or Influenza is a respiratory disease caused by Influenza viruses A and B. The flu outbreak is responsible for over 20,000 deaths and over 170,000 hospitalizations in the United States annually during each epidemic. Five pandemics of influenza have occurred in the last 100 years, the worst of those was the Spanish pandemic in 1918 and 1919 resulting in over 20 million deaths worldwide.

Flu or influenza is spread through droplets of moisture released into the air, when an infected person talks, sneezes or coughs.  Flu symptoms include fever, chills, sore throat, headache, exhaustion, loss of appetite, dry cough, aches and pains  .  Flu can be serious as it can lead to exacerbation of bronchial asthma, cause pneumonia and develop secondary bacterial pneumonias.   Influenza vaccine developed annually is the best protection.  The vaccine is available every year in the fall.


Influenza vaccine is recommended if you are over 65 years of age, have a chronic heart, lung or kidney disease.  It is also recommended in persons who have cancer, are receiving chemotherapy, have diabetes, impaired liver or kidney function or sickle cell anemia or immune deficiency condition.  Healthcare workers, who might contract and/or transmit infection and foreign travelers and anyone who wants to decrease his or her chances of getting flu should be vaccinated


If you are allergic to eggs, you should not take The influenza vaccine as the the vaccine is made from inactivated egg-grown virus.  Two new drugs, Relenza and Tamiflu have been shown to decrease the symptoms and shorten the course of the illness.  Relenza is inhaled while tamiflu is taken by mouth.   Both medications have to be taken within 48 hours of illness to be effective.

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