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What is influenza (“flu”)?
• Traditional flu shot, an inactivated vaccine (containing killed
Influenza, or “flu,” is an extremely contagious respiratory illness
virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. This is
caused by influenza A or B viruses. Flu appears most frequently
the most common type of flu vaccination.
in winter and early spring. The flu virus attacks the body by
• Nasal spray, an alternative for people who don’t want to have
spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract.
an injection. This vaccine is made with live, weakened flu
What’s the difference between a cold and the flu?
Why do I need a flu vaccine every year?
The common cold and flu are both contagious viral infections
A flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are
of the respiratory tract. Although the symptoms can be similar,
constantly changing. It’s not unusual for new flu viruses to
appear each year. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to
Congestion, sore throat, and sneezing are common with
keep up with the flu viruses as they change.
colds. Both cold and flu bring coughing, headache, and chest discomfort. With the flu, though, you are likely to run a high
What flu tests would a doctor use to confirm
fever for several days and have headache, fatigue, and weakness.
Usually, complications from colds are relatively minor, but
Most of the time, a flu diagnosis is made by the person’s
a severe case of flu can lead to a life-threatening illness such
symptoms. In some cases, your doctor may also run flu tests
to make sure of an accurate flu diagnosis. These tests usually
More than 100 types of cold viruses are known, and new
involve taking a sample from your mouth and culturing this
strains of flu evolve every few years. Since both diseases are
to identify the virus. Rapid flu tests give your doctor results in
viral, antibiotics cannot conquer cold or flu, they only treat
What antiviral drugs are available?
How do you know that you have the flu?
Two flu antiviral drugs are recommended for use in the United
There are many symptoms to influenza. The most common
States – Tamiflu® (generic name: oseltamivir) and Relenza®
symptoms for the flu are fever (100º F or greater) for several
(generic name: zanamivir). Tamiflu is approved for prevention
days, headache, muscle aches, chills, fatigue, dry cough, watery
and treatment of flu in people 1 year old and older. Relenza
eyes, a sore throat, and congestion. The earlier you recognize
is approved to treat flu in people 7 years old and older and to
that you have the flu can also make a difference in how long it
prevent flu in people 5 years old and older.
lasts. A severe case of the flu can lead to life-threatening illness
These drugs can make an illness milder and help people
feel better faster. They also can prevent serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia. Tamiflu and Relenza must be
How can the flu be prevented?
given within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms and are
Influenza is linked to 200,000 people being hospitalized each
usually prescribed for about five days. For people with a high
year. The single best way to protect against the flu is to get
risk medical condition, treatment with an antiviral drug can
vaccinated. In addition, several measures can help stop the
mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a
spread of germs: Covering one’s mouth and nose with a tissue
very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
when coughing or sneezing and immediately disposing of that tissue in the trash; and washing hands frequently with soap and
If I get the flu, is there anything I can do at home to
water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
ease my symptoms?
When it comes to your overall aches and congestion, there are
Who should get a flu vaccine and are there different
some home remedies that may ease some of your flu symptoms.
types of flu vaccinations?
Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu
vaccine. Certain people are considered high-risk for acquiring
the flu, including children aged 6 months-4 years (59 months);
people 50 years and older; people with chronic medical
• Treat aches and fever so you • Try soothing lozenges
conditions and women who are or will be pregnant during the
There are different ways to receive the vaccine:
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BRAVERMAN EYE CENTER REFRACTIVE POST-PROCEDURE CARE PRK and epi-LASIK IT IS OK TO USE ALL DROPS IMMEDIATELY AFTER ADVANCED SURFACE ABLATION (PRK OR epi-LASIK). Use the non-preserved lubricating drops every 2 hrs while awake during the first five (5) days; but continue frequent lubrication for many weeks. 1 ) For PRK and epi-LASIK : (A) NSAID drops 4x/day for three days (pro