Prevent the Flu

Piper-Denise-web-02-2012Denise Piper, Parish Nurse, Noelridge Christian Church

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness. The “best way” to prevent this illness is by getting an annual flu vaccine.

Signs and Symptoms 

  •  fever or feeling feverish, chills
  • cough and sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • headaches and muscle or body aches
  • fatigue, feeling very tired
  • vomiting/diarrhea

How the Flu Spreads

This virus mainly spreads by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.

Period of Contagion

“When you can spread your flu germs to others…”

You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you even realize you’re infected! Most healthy adults can infect others beginning one day before they develop symptoms and up to seven days after becoming sick.

Complications of Flu

Complications can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and       worsening of chronic medical conditions.

The Influenza Vaccine

The single best way to prevent getting the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. “Flu shots” are usually injected with a needle, into the upper arm. “Nasal spray” is approved for use in healthy people ages 2 to 49 years old, not pregnant, and not caring for someone with weakened immunity.

Besides the Vaccine… More Germ Control

  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • stay home when you are sick: going to work, school, church, or running errands exposes lots of other folks!
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing (or cough/sneeze into your armpit or elbow…)
  • wash your hands often: after a cough/sneeze, before eating, before touching eyes, nose, or mouth

Other Vaccination Information

“Shingles” Vaccination – the vaccine for shingles is recommended for people 60 years and older. This is a one-time vaccination. There is no maximum age for getting this vaccine. Even if you have had shingles, you can still get the vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease.

“Pneumonia” Vaccination – Currently, the Pneumovax vaccine is recommended for all adults who are older than 65 years of age. It may be recommended for adults 19 through 64 years of age and/or those who smoke cigarettes or who have asthma.

As always, contact your health care provider with any questions regarding your need for any and all adult vaccinations!