“F” is for fall, football, and flu shots. Every year the Center for Disease Control monitors global patterns of this constantly shifting virus, and chooses the appropriate strains to include in the vaccine. The choice has been made, and vaccines are now available. It is recommended for everyone over six months old. There is a high dose version available for seniors. The vaccine is recommended for pregnant women as well. The vaccine cannot cause flu, but some folks experience a temporary low-grade fever and achiness that they interpret as disease. The flu hits hardest in the winter, so now is the time to develop immunity.
Signs and Symptoms: Fever, cough, and muscle soreness typically lasts for about a week. Seniors that get the flu are susceptible to pneumonia, a potentially fatal complication.
What to do: Get your vaccination. If you have immune system or allergy issues, talk to your doctor about which type of vaccination is best for you.
Thought for the day: Avoiding the flu is a pretty good reason to get your vaccination this season.
What’s Going Around is contributed by family practice doctor Kyle Scarborough, M.D. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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