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Q: What do you know about influenza?

Posted November 06, 2013 in Adel, Advice Column

A: Myth: Influenza is just a nuisance and much like the common cold, it cannot be prevented.

Fact: Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory disease that is easily spread and can lead to serious complications, hospitalizations and even death. It infects the nose, lungs and throat which can lead to pneumonia and bronchitis. Each year the flu in the U.S. on average leads to 226,000 hospitalizations and depending on the severity of the season can lead to anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths.
Myth: You can get influenza from the flu shot.

Fact: The flu shot does not contain the live virus, so it is impossible to get influenza from the flu shot. Side effects may occur in some which include mild soreness at the injection site, headache or a low-grade fever. Vaccination is safe and proven effective and is the single best way to prevent the flu in you and your family.

Myth: There is only one type of vaccination available to help protect against the influenza virus.

Fact: There are many different options this year for children, adults and senior citizens. These include the standard trivalent shot for those 6 months and older, a high dose vaccine for those older than 65, an intradermal shot and one that is egg-free. Also this year is the quadrivalent vaccine available in the shot and nasal spray.

Do not delay in getting your vaccine today. Help protect yourself and your family against the influenza this winter season.

Information provided by Jane Clausen, Adel Health Mart, 113 N. Ninth St., 993-3644.

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