Flew, Flue, or Flu? Seasonal Influenza is here!

This is the post excerpt.

Welcome to the first post of the Passionate Pharmacist.  Here you will see timely healthcare information from me and (hopefully) from other credentialed professionals.

I’m a registered pharmacist who has been in practice since the mid-1970’s. I’ve been in several different practice settings.  I’m passionate about health, and about helping people. Because of some unexpected personal health issues I decided to start this blog, to give folks another place to ask questions, and also to share their own experiences, but the goal is to provide accurate health information. I may, on occasion, have someone else contribute an article, or other media.  And I want to have a little fun.

I also am an author, having written nearly two dozen articles and published a book in 2016. I expect two more books to be published by the end of this year or early in 2018. Don’t worry, you will hear more about all this, I promise!

Seasonal influenza is rapidly approaching, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that EVERYONE get a flu vaccination. I first want to do my part to try to dispel a myth: you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine.  The vaccine is made from a dead virus. Dead viruses don’t infect you.  The flu vaccine, even the high-dose vaccine recommended for seniors and some others, takes a few day, up to ten days, to really protect you.  I suspect that if you got the flu after having the vaccine, then you had already been infected, or were infected soon after getting your flu shot.

And don’t forget, nothing works 100% of the time.  Some people won’t be protected.  If we look at how the vaccine is developed, it will help.  Early in the year scientists gather together to decide which strains of flu will be the worst in several months, and develop vaccines against those strains. Influenza viruses mutate, or change, very rapidly.  Trying to find the right vaccines is like chasing a two-year old!

Here are signs and symptoms of the flu:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose

 

It’s not too early to get a flu vaccine. You can get it from your doctor, but it may be more convenient to get it from your local pharmacist. Many insurance companies, including Medicare, may pay for some or all of the cost. Do yourself a favor and get your flu shot. Why go through the misery and agony of the flu, missing work and/or school, infecting others, and exposing yourself and loved ones  to a very preventable risk?

 

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