It's That Time Again – Are You Prepared For the Flu?

What you should know about the Flu?

The flu is a viral infection that should not be taken lightly. It is often confused with its counterpart the Common Cold because the symptoms are very similar. Some symptoms of the Flu include stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, congestion, fever, fatigue, body ache, and diarrhea or vomiting. These symptoms however, do not solely belong to the Flu. These symptoms are also regular signs of the common cold and other respiratory illnesses. One stark difference between the Common Cold and the Flu is in longevity. Cases of the Common Cold are usually mild and can be cured within a week. On the other hand, cases of the flu can range from minor to life-threatening. A severe case of the flu can result in pneumonia.

Because the symptoms of respiratory illness are similar, it is difficult to determine what illness you suffer from on your own. A healthcare provider should be consulted in the event you experience any of these symptoms. An examination can be performed by a Physician which can determine exactly what illness you have developed.

How is the flu spread?

The flu is a highly infectious virus that can be spread in several different ways:

Inhaling infected air. The air can become infected when a person who has the illness coughs or sneezes. For this reason, it is suggested that you always cover your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after.

Coming in direct contact with an infected person's secretion. This can occur by kissing, sharing utensils, or drinks with an infected person.

The virus is also transferrable through absorbency. The virus can be transferred to your hands when you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. The virus is then absorbed into your hands and in turn, touching commonly used surfaces such as door handles, keyboards, and phones spreads the virus to the surfaces and potentially to others.

How do I prevent the Flu?

Although there is no certainty that a person will be able to always prevent catching the flu, there are methods that can indeed keep it away. The best way to protect yourself and others is to get a flu vaccination. The flu vaccine is available in two forms – the flu shot and the nasal spray. The flu shot is the most common method of administering the vaccine. The nasal spray is available for healthy persons * between the ages of 2-49 who are not pregnant. The flu vaccination is to be taken annually when flu season begins around September.

Because the Flu has the potential of being fatal, it is recommended that people with chronic diseases such as heart disease or asthma, young children, and senior citizens get the vaccine. For information on where you can get your flu vaccination, contact your healthcare provider or local pharmacy. Be sure to consult with your doctor or a healthcare professional to confirm if a flu vaccination is right for you.

Other prevention strategies include:

-Disinfecting the home by keeping the floors, garbage, and bathroom clean.

-Sanitizing common use areas like the kitchen and living room along with door handles, keyboards, remote controls, and light switches.

-Keep your hands clean at all times, especially after blowing your nose or coughing. If not able to wash your hands at a sink, keep a bottle of alcohol based anti-bacterial hand gel or sanitizing wipes nearby.

-Be sure to keep up with a nutritious diet. Eat many fruits and vegetables to ensure your body has the necessary vitamins and nutrients to combat potential virus.

-Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Try to avoid dairy products and caffeine drinks such as coffee and soda.

– Get plenty of rest and exercise.

The above listed tips can help you keep up your body's immune system which is essential to prevention of the flu and other viral illnesses.

Keep in mind that there is no cure for the flu. It is best to protect yourself in advance if you begin to feel symptoms of the flu or if you are in a constant environment where others already have the virus. Some over the counter medications are available in your local pharmacy to combat minor symptoms such as cough, sore throat, or stuffy nose.

In the event that any of these symptoms worsen or if just to be on the safe side, contact your physician or a local health care provider immediately.

(Please note that healthy persons are considered those who are not predisposed to any chronic health conditions which will increase their changes of contracting the flu virus.

2006 Flu Season – Are You Ready ??

The complications of influenza have a high
mortality rate for the frail elderly population.
Complications, such as pneumonia, often
result in hospitalization and death.

People continuing to suffer and die from
preventable conditions is a major concern
to the medical community.

The fact that only 50% of adults over the age
of 65 obtain the Flu Vacine is indicative of
a lack of understanding of the vaccines
importance.

As we age, our immune system does not
respond as well as that of our younger
counterparts.

This is not a surprise since no part of our
body works with the efficiency of a 20 or 40yr old.

Often the older we are, the more frail we
become.

The Flu season is upon us so please read this
with an open mind and not the usual "It will
not happen to me "syndrome.

The goal of the vaccine, is to reduce the
complications of the flu. These incude
pneumonia and other respiratory problems
that result in hospitalization and unnecessary
death.

The standard for the prevention of influenza
is the flu vaccine.

The following people are at high risk for
complications related to the Influenza virus:

People with respiratory diseases, heart
disease, kidney disease, spinal cord injuries,
muscle or nerve disorders, impaired immunity.

In addition, residents in group homes, nursing
homes, long term care or residential facilities
are at high risk.

Anyone who has a caregiver coming into their
home as well as family caregivers should also
check with their doctor regarding obtaining
the flu vaccine.

Reactions from the vaccine may include
soreness at the injection site, low grade
fever, and tiredness.These reactions may
occurs during the first6-12 hours.

It usually takes two weeks after receiving
the vaccine to be protected. Often people
have alreadybeen exposed to an infectious
person and develop the flu soon after the
vaccine is administrated.This is not caused
by the vaccine. It is caused by an exposure
to the Influenza virus.
The vaccine does not contain live virus.
You can not get the flu from the vaccine.

Who should not get flu vaccine:

Any one with a severe allergic reaction to
eggs, history of Guillain-Barre syndrome,
Egypt iscurrently ill with a moderate fever,
as well as anyone with a history of sever
reaction to influenza vaccine in the past.

Please consult your doctor regarding
obtaining the vaccine.

The Coming Flu Pandemic – Be Prepared

The H1N1 flu virus scare has eased off, but the reality is that flu viruses are still out there. Many experts still expect a major, full-blown world-wide flu pandemic in the near future. Recall the flu pandemic of 1918 that killed 500,000 people in the United States and and more than 21 million people globally. The next pandemic will come at any time and will probably be worse because the flu is gaining in severity.

So what do you do to protect yourself and your loved ones from the risk? Do you get vaccinated? Even if a flu vaccine were to work against the specific strain it vaccinates for, it might not protect you from current strains. Thankfully this past flu scare was not as bad as it could have been because there was not enough flu vaccine to go around. In addition, many people complain of side effects of flu vaccines and there are controversies about the safety of vaccines in general.

Once a person comes down with the flu, a traditional treatment is an antiviral antibiotic, which can cause a long list of dangerous side effects which can be worse than the flu itself. These include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, death of skin cells, skin rashes and inflammation, swelling of the face or tongue, hepatitis, heart arrhythmias, seizures and aggravation of diabetes.

The best defense against the flu is to prevent it. Like the old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Although anyone can be affected, those most susceptible are those with inadequate nutritional intake. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) has been used very successfully for years to put a stop to viruses of many varieties, including the flu. Vitamin C has the ability to neutralize toxins, poisons and venom as well as inactivating viruses and other pathogens, including those causing the flu, shingles, chicken pox, viral pneumonia, meningitis, mononucleosis and tetanus.

I recommend that an adult take at least 1,000 mg of Vitamin C every day to prevent viral attacks. If you are exposed to someone with a virus infection or you start to come down with symptoms of an infection, I recommend taking 1,000 mg every hour while you are awake, until you develop a harmless laxative effect of loose stools. When that happens, just reduce the dose until the loose stools subside, then slowly increase the dose again.

In addition to adequate doses of Vitamin C, I recommend taking the potent anti-viral herbs Astragalus and Echinacea and a high quality multivitamin / mineral to give your body's immune system the biological ingredients it needs to fight.

Do not wait until a flu pandemic strikes. Arm yourself ahead of time with mother nature's antiviral good guys.

Flu Vaccines

Getting a vaccine does not mean you will never get the flu. What it does is it lessens the effect the sickness has on you. In short, you will not have the body pains, the excess appetite loss, or the need to be hospitalized.

Needle point injections are feared by most people, this might attribute the small percentage of people getting flu shots. In the case that this happens, there is an easier, less fearful alternative. Flu vaccines are readily available in nasal spray form and it proves to be as effective as a normal flu shot.

Contracting the flu can be very dangerous even for those in perfect health. Getting flu vaccines is a must for people over 50 years of age. It is also a must for kids aged 6 months to 5 years and for people with pre-existing ailments. Getting you a flu shot reduces the risk of acquiring influenza virus and other influenza related complications.

It is not advisable to get a flu shot if you have developed a reaction to a previous flu vaccine shot. If you have an allergic reaction to eggs, it is also not advisable for you to get a flu shot. Also if you had Guillan-Barre syndrome in the weeks after your flu shot.

This medicine is available in various places. Hospitals, doctor's clinics, health clinics, possibly pharmacies and even work offices may offer flu vaccines. Getting one is highly recommended to stop the spread of the influenza virus and to keep you and your family safe from the virus.

Avian Influenza Symptoms and the Avian Bird Flu

The avian influenza virus is the kind of flu infection that you catch from infected birds. Domestic birds like chicken and wild birds such as ducks can be the carriers of this killer disease. Particularly, fifteen strains of influenza A virus are known to afflict the bird population. That’s why, we can conclude that birds (domestic or not) can become the natural host of the deadly virus.

Many of the various strains of influenza virus cause little or no symptoms at all. However, some particular influenza strains from birds can cause a fast, fatal and contagious disease. One of which would be avian, H5N1 or H1N1 influenza. It is also known to be a highly pathogenic virus that invades humans and can cause death.

Currently, people do not have any type of immunity against this virus. That is why it is extremely important to report symptoms at an early time so harmful changes can be avoided. It is also very important to stop the proliferation of the infection so people in a different place will not be contaminated with the potentially untreatable disease.

Avian Influenza Signs And Symptoms In Birds

Before humans get infected with this virus, the birds usually distribute the infection through several means. Humans can get contaminated through their saliva, feces and nasal secretions. The birds become susceptible to the strain of virus when they come in contact with contaminated excretions such as on surfaces and in food.

Typically, symptoms experienced by the bird include lethargy or decrease in their normal activity, a decrease in eggs, breathing problems and difficulties, swelling of the head, muscle paralysis, loose bowel movement and eventually death.

Avian Influenza Signs And Symptoms In Humans

Avian influenza signs and symptoms in humans appear alike to the ones experienced with any other flu. Cough, headache, tiredness, sore throat, muscle aches and conjunctivitis are among the most commonly reported influenza signs and symptoms. The bird flu even adds more damage by making an infected person subject to pneumonia and other breathing problems. Before the condition gets worse, it is necessary to obtain the proper treatment. If not addressed at an early time, fatality among infected humans can be expected.

To prevent yourself from getting the virus, you must follow the necessary precautions related to it. You must also keep a healthy immune system to help you thwart off the infection. Remember, a person becomes susceptible to disease if his immune resistance is compromised.