Influenza is Coming

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It’s hard to believe but flu season is knocking on our doors. Influenza never really totally disappears, it takes a trip around the globe setting up shop in the colder regions as the weather changes. That being said, scientists then use that information from other parts of the globe to fashion unique yearly vaccines to target what they think will be hitting our region. Last year’s vaccine may be very different than this year’s, which is why it’s important to get it every year.

What is the “flu”? Let’s start with what it’s NOT. It’s not vomiting, it’s not diarrhea. It’s not a 101 fever. It’s not just a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. If you have ever had a real documented influenza infection you will agree that it is more in the lines of “WALKING DEATH”. If you have high fevers and turn to someone and say you feel like you are dying, then you may have the flu. It is not fun, and you can not fight through it and carry on with your life. It is a respiratory virus that gives you fevers of 102-105, almost always with body aches/headaches and incapacitating lethargy.

Who should get the vaccine?

The CDC puts out age ranges that are most seriously hit by disease (children and elderly), but I’d say very emphatically—EVERONE should get it! Age ranges are easy to explain, but let me add some other more specific reasons one should get the influenza vaccine. If you fall into one of these scenarios, you should get a flu shot this year:
– You have a job and need the money or don’t have ample sick days
– You have to take care of kids
– You live with someone elderly
– You live with someone with health problems
– You have health problems
– You have a job dealing with elderly or those with health problems
– You have something planned you can’t miss
– You aren’t planning on being an extra on a zombie movie

Frankly I could go on but you get the point. Even though I have to get it at work, I would do so on my own merely to avoid the pain and anguish.

Despite the rumors, the flu shot does not cause the flu…although you may catch the flu going to wherever you got the shot. Yes, you can get the flu even when you get the shot, but trust me it will be less severe. And yes, you may not get the flu for years even though you never got the shot. You can also smoke for years without getting lung cancer.

Get the flu vaccine, save yourself and help everyone around you by not being the person that infects 20 other people when you realize you can’t miss work. 

Undercover Doc
I am a double-boarded specialist who has worked with patients of all ages in the office, hospital and ER realm for almost two decades. I will be your unbiased source for information that healthcare teams don’t normally discuss with patients due to time of other constraints. From alternative therapies and medico-legal quandaries, to uncovering the mysterious world of medical costs and billing, I’ll focus my articles on topics you don’t see in the mainstream media or health system websites. Stay tuned for my next installment!
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