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Have a question or comment? Click here. Are there things you want to know about the flu and the flu vaccine? If so, you're going to love this article. I recently had the opportunity to speak one on one with Dr. Carolyn Bridges, the Associate Director for Science in the Influenza Division of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) . This CDC unit is responsible for a number of tasks, including: Year-round influenza surveillance throughout the world Coordinating with state and local health departments Global decision-making with the World Health Organization (WHO) on flu vaccine content twice a year Influenza risk assessments Studies of the flu disease burden Antiviral resistance research and monitoring Improving community and public awareness of the flu and flu prevention As you can see, the Influenza Division has their hands full. They also maintain a comprehensive mini site about the flu and flu vaccine: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm You'll find answers to most of your...
Have you seen the commercials for flu shots offered at your local grocery store? Or have you seen the signs outside the large chain pharmacies advertising that flu shots are available already?
Some businesses are offering clever incentives for getting vaccinated this year. There is one grocery chain which is offering 10 percent off your grocery bill if you get your flu shot while shopping. It’s an interesting way to motivate people to get themselves vaccinated. Quite a move to influence public health.
I remember the first year that I got my own influenza vaccine at a local grocery store. Shots were only offered during narrow hours and locations were running out of vaccines quickly. I stood in a line which spanned from the pharmacy area, past the meat area, and into the bakery area. That was the year I decided while standing in line to get the pneumonia shot in addition to the flu shot.
At that time, I had been rather motivated to get th...
Medications Vaccines are available to prevent influenza (See Viral Influenza Vaccines section in this report). For mild influenza, symptom relief is similar to that for colds. Who Needs Antiviral Drugs Two classes of antiviral agents have been developed to treat influenza: neuraminidase inhibitors and M2 inhibitors. These drugs can shorten symptoms but there is no indication that they can prevent or reduce complications such as pneumonia. They do not help if they are started after the first 36 hours of illness. Because of emerging drug resistance, some experts suggest these drugs be reserved for severely ill patients or those at high risk. Most people who get seasonal flu or H1N1 flu will likely recover without needing medical care. Doctors, however, can prescribe antiviral drugs to treat people who become very sick with the flu or are at high risk for flu complications. If you need treatment for the flu, the CDC recommends that your doctor give you zanamivir (Relenza) or osteltamivir (Tami...
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