All posts tagged “Flu Shot

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Welcome to cold and flu season!

It is that time of the year again to break out the tissues and cold and flu medicine. It is the start of cold and flu season! This year, there a few new changes as well as important reminders to keep in mind as we enter into this new season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just came out with a new 2016-2017 recommendations to not get the nasal flu vaccination, which was a very popular method of vaccinating last year.  The flu, or influenza virus, has a tendency to change its viral structure. Some people believe that once you have had the flu you become immune from contracting the flu in the future. However, even if this was somewhat true, the viral structure or strain of the flu changes so frequently it is unlikely that anyone is immune from the flu at all. Some of this year’s flu viruses have been assessed and based off the assessments, flu shots (compared to nasal vaccination) will be more accurate and a stronger source of flu prevention this season.

There has been talk in the past about individuals with egg allergies getting the flu shot, since some flu vaccines have eggs within their ingredients. This year the CDC is saying that individuals who have had mild reactions to the flu shot (i.e. hives) should get the recommended flu shot. Individuals who have more serious reactions to the shot (i.e.  angioedema, becoming dizzy/lightheaded or the need for an epinephrine) should still receive the flu shot but they should receive it in an inpatient or outpatient (i.e. hospital, clinic, local doctor’s office) medical environment. That way if serious reactions occur, medical professionals can deal with it right then and there. However, whether or not you have mild or serious allergic reactions to eggs, it is important to notify the individual who is giving you your vaccine of your egg allergy. Have an egg allergy? Read more about this change here.

Last year (2015) the flu season started later than usual and did not peak until December. This year we have already entered the flu season and it is the second week of October. It is recommended for everyone to get a flu shot, especially children and the elderly before the end of October. If you need to know where you can get one, check out this link to find a flu vaccine near you.

Besides getting a flu shot, make sure to wash your hands regularly and stay home when you are feeling sick. The common cold is one of the biggest gateways for contracting the flu. The cold may seem like no big deal but colds can suppress your immune system greatly making it easy for other viruses, such as the flu, to enter your body. If you are a supervisor at work encourage employees to stay home when they don’t feel well. Colds can last up to two weeks without proper care. This is two weeks where a cold can spread to other individuals and weaken your immune system for longer. Don’t be afraid to call out of work for the cold, everyone will thank you for it later!

Want to learn more about preventing colds and flu? Check out these links:

CDC – Common Colds

CDC – Flu

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Nuclear Regulatory Commission

dont let you immune system fall flat
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Don’t let your immune system fall flat

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The leaves are changing, I get to wear sweaters and jeans, and I get to look forward to corn mazes and pumpkin carving!

I also tend to catch a cold towards the middle of October. I think most of you can relate and know that washing your hands becomes a top priority. Making other healthy choices is important too. I created a typical workday schedule and added some healthy tips so your immune system doesn’t fall (pun intended) flat  this season .

A typical workday for me  is 8am-5pm. Feel free to  adjust this according to your schedule.

5:30am: Start your day with a healthy breakfast: Add some granola and seasonal fruits to your yogurt.

6:15am: Head to the gym, or go for a morning a run. Most people that exercise in the morning tend to stick with it. This also is a great way to manage stress.

6:45am: Hit the Shower: Wash off the the germs that can be lingering, and make sure to moisturize to keep skin smooth.

8am: Heat up some tea: Green tea has antioxidants that discourage abnormal cell growth.

10am: Stretch it out: Sitting for long periods of time puts strain on your back and other muscles.

12pm: Walk with co-worker to lunch: Exercise and socializing help keep you mentally and physically healthy to fight off colds.

3pm: Make sure your vaccinations are current: Check-in with your doctor and see when your  flu shot is available. This will help keep you protected year round.

6pm: Cozy up with a pet or loved one: This helps to relieve stress, which in turn helps you fight back germs!

7pm: Make a meal. Stir fry is a great way to get in all those essential nutrients. Try adding broccoli,  squash, mushrooms, corn, and any other veggies that you love.

8pm: Turn off the phone. Electronic use before bed can disturb your bodies sleep cycle. Being well rested helps your body fend off germs.

10pm: Lights out. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep helps your body relax and recover from the day you had. It also aids in stress management.

If this seems like too much at once try doing a few during the day and work your way up from there. Do you have any tips for helping boost your immune system?

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Erin Kohlenberg

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Get Your Flu Shot – What You Need To Know

Flu vaccines are generally given at the beginning of the “flu season” – usually late October or early November in the U.S. However, they may be given as late as March, and still provide some benefit. Most people achieve protection from the flu approximately 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine. Many companies offer flu shots on-site, so check with your HR department or wellness coordinator to see if this is being offered. ODS is doing this very thing for our own employees next week.  

Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, sore muscles, and cough. Thousands of people in the U.S. die each year from the flu or its complications. Most of those who die are the elderly, young children, or people with compromised immune systems.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone who wants to reduce their risk of the flu should get a flu vaccine. The flu shot is for people age 6 months and older. People at risk for more serious flu infections should always get a flu vaccine every year.

You should get a flu shot every year if you: Read More