Flu Shot Season Has Arrived

It’s time for a flu shot or mist!

Before you or someone in your family gets the chills, body aches, cough and running nose, you should consider a visit to your medical provider to get a flu shot or mist.

Although a flu shot or mist is not a 100% guarantee against the flu, most people who have taken these preventions have avoided the flu or minimized its symptoms.

You can also reduce your risk of catching a cold or the flu by washing your hands frequently, which stops the spread of germs.

Eating healthy food, exercising and getting enough sleep also play a part in prevention because those activities help boost your immune system.

The common cold and the flu have similar symptoms, but cold symptoms are milder.

Cold symptoms include:

  • Fever up to 102°F
  • Runny or stuffy nose (often with green- or yellow-colored discharge)
  • Sore throat/cough/sneezing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches/headache
  • Watery eyes

Flu symptoms may also include:

  • Nausea
  • Chills and sweats
  • Loss of appetite

You should contact your doctor if you or your child has the following symptoms: prolonged fever higher than 102°F, fatigue and body aches,  pain or chest pressure, trouble breathing, fast breathing or wheezing, bluish skin color.

Also, earache or drainage from the ear, changes in mental state, irritability or seizures, severe sinus pain in face or forehead or swollen glands in the neck or jaw.

When you have a cold or flu, you need to get plenty of rest; drink fluids; gargle with salt water a few times a day; use saline drops; and avoid smoking or drinking alcohol.

In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medicine, which  can shorten the length of time you are sick.

Although there is no cure for the cold or the flu, and antibiotics do not work against the viruses that cause colds and the flu, pain relievers such as acetaminophen can help ease pain and reduce fever.

Be sure to read the dosage instructions and take the correct amount according to age and weight.

If you decide to get the flu shot or mist, call your medical provider soon to see when flu shots and mist will be available.