October is the beginning of flu season and medical offices, hospitals and clinics, schools and employers around the country are now offering the flu vaccine, either through the "flu shot" or a nasal-spray called LAIV (FluMist®). You might be wondering why I am writing about the flu vaccine on an RA webpage . It's because people with RA and other chronic conditions are at higher risk for developing the flu and complications from the flu, especially those of us who take immunosuppressant drugs like TNF-inhibitors . For that reason, my rheumatologist is adamant that I get the vaccine every year, since I have no allergies or other contraindications for receiving it. Others at most risk are the very young, older people, and caregivers to people at higher risk. Here are a few statistics from the Centers for Disease Control: every year in the United States, about 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and; a...
There is plenty of flu vaccine available for protecting the populace against flu syndrome this year. Many clinics and pharmacies around the U.S. began giving flu shots several weeks ago. Have you had yours?
Recommendations by health officials on who should get the flu shot have broadened over the last several years. Currently, anyone over 6 months should get the flu vaccine if they are not severely egg allergic or allergic to the flu vaccine by history. People over 65 years of age, young children, or those older than 6 months with a history of asthma, other chronic respiratory problems, chronic heart, liver, kidney disease, diabetes or immune deficiencies or who are pregnant are highly recommended to get annual flu vaccination.
Here are five of the most common reasons my patients have avoided getting the flu vaccine:
1) "I'm afraid of getting the flu from the flu shot"
2) "My friend got sick after getting a flu shot"
3) "My child may become autistic from the preservative in the flu v...
Colds and flus are NOT cured by antibiotics.
Antibiotics - colds and flu
Antibiotics will fight bacterial infections, but they do not treat viral infections such as colds and the flu . If you have a viral infection, antibiotics will NOT make you better.
Antibiotics can destroy normal ("healthy") bacteria that live in your body. This can result in symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and vaginal yeast infections.
The overuse of antibiotics has contributed to the rise in drug-resistant bacterial infections. Taking antibiotics also poses a risk of allergic reactions, so they should not be taken when there is no possible benefit.
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