Have No Fear, the Flu Shot Is Here!

As summer winds down and the air gets crisp, "cold" season starts to descend upon us. There are many precautions to take and information to obtain as we are coming into this season. While I am not here to persuade you, I would like to share some valuable information to help you stay healthy!

Many people get a flu shot every year, but some may not know exactly what the "flu" is! Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a very contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza, A or B virus. The flu attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract. Commons symptoms of the flu are fatigue, weakness, high fever, body aches, all lasting many days. It can make it hard for you to get out of bed!

Many people ask themselves if they should get the flu shot. There are some things you may want to know before answering that question. The flu virus changes each and every year, just an individual's health changes constantly. A smart thing to do is discuss with your physician which type of strain you should be receiving.

This year there are two vaccinations that are available, the trivalent(3 component) strain and the quadrivalent(4 component) strain. The Trivalent vaccine, containing 3 strains, protects against two influenza "A subtypes" and one influenza "B subtype", this strain is the most common used in past flu seasons. There is also the Quadrivalent vaccine, containing extra protection against two "A subtypes" and two "B subtypes".

There are also many other ways to stay healthy during the winter season: Wash your hands constantly, Sneeze or cough into a tissue or into the corner of your elbow, and get a good night's rest and eat healthy. And remember, germs spread, so try to stay away from anyone who is sick, even with just a cold.

Natalie Williams, RPhT

Natalie Williams, RPhT, is a manager at Ohliger Drug in Fairview Park.

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 3:58 PM, 10.06.2015