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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...
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.
Each year as flu season approaches, fibromyalgia and myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome patients ask me if they should get a flu shot. Since no research has been done on the subject, there is no clear-cut answer to that question. While most conventional doctors recommend flu vaccinations across the board, many FM and ME/CFS specialists advise their patients against getting the shot. Because of reports of severe relapses following immunization, Charles Lapp, MD, Director of the Hunter-Hopkins Center in Charlotte, NC, generally does not recommend flu shots for his fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients. There are, however, two exceptions: Patients who have taken flu vaccinations in the past and tolerated them well. Patients who have a serious chronic illness (such as emphysema, diabetes or heart disease ) in addition to FM or ME/CFS. Charles Shepherd, MD, a U.K. doctor who is a member of the Chief Medical Officer’s ...
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