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Q: What is the flu, and how can I avoid catching it?

Posted November 13, 2013 in Advice Column, Norwalk

A: Influenza is a viral illness that commonly occurs in the fall and winter and affects many people at once. Flu is not the same as the common cold. The symptoms of flu are usually more sever and come on quite suddenly. Although a person with flu feels very sick, the illness seldom leads to more serious complications. However, flu can be dangerous for babies, older adults, and people with some chronic conditions.

• Get a flu vaccination each fall. Depending on your age and medical conditions, you can get a flu shot or receive the flu mist. Consider getting vaccinated annually. The vaccine can be given to anyone older than 6 months.
• Keep up your resistance to infection by eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest and exercising regularly.
• Avoid exposure to the flu virus. Wash your hands often, and keep your hands away from your nose, eyes and mouth.

Our clinic is currently stocked with flu vaccine both the shot and mist. Call UnityPoint Clinic Norwalk at 515-285-3200 and schedule your appointment today.

Information submitted by Ronda Montgomery, UnityPoint Clinic, 801 Colonial Circle, Norwalk, 285-3200.

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