Keeping your Health in Mind!

For those with kids, and for those of us without too, cold and flu season is approaching. I know, I dread it too. As someone who gets bronchitis almost every year (last year was like 4 months and two rounds of antibiotics….it was not fun), I am all about finding ways to prevent getting sick. NonDad has an amazing immune system, he really is lucky in that way, me however, I don’t have that luxury. If he gets anything he’s over it asap, not so much for me.

A couple of weeks ago I was unable to attend sadly, but was passed on the valuable info from the Flu Education Event hosted by Dr. Marla Shapiro: How FLUent are you when it comes to seasonal flu?

For me, I do start making a conscious effort to wash my hands more often, and I now have a bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse that I have begun using more too. I’m also back to taking my 1000ui of vitamin D every morning and even taking a preventative ColdFX when I know I’m going to be exposed to a lot of people. Like I said, I am determined to not get sick this year!

So, some info for all of us on the Flu this year from the seminar:

1. The influenza virus spreads through droplets from someone with the flu, who coughs or sneezes into the air.

2. Infection is spread when one breathes in these droplets through the nose or mouth, or through the droplets landing directly in the eyes.

3. The flu virus is also often transferred via the hands of people with the flu and on the surfaces they have touched.

Children and Flu:

1. The highest illness rates generally occur in children, with accompanying increases in school absences, physician visits and pediatric hospital admissions.

2. Children are contagious for a longer period of time and can continue to pass along the virus for more than seven days after symptoms first start, compared to adults who can only pass along the virus for three to ten days.
3. Often children are asymptomatic for six days before their flu symptoms first appear.
4. School-age children are more susceptible to seasonal flu during community outbreaks, and immunization in this population has been associated with a decrease in death and illness in the elderly as well as preschool children

Immunization:

This year’s vaccine is called FLUMist. FluMist® [Influenza Vaccine (Live, Attenuated)], a needle-free and preservative-free intranasal influenza vaccine, is approved for the prevention of seasonal influenza in Canadians two to 59 years of age. pharmacies across Canada with or without a prescription and must be administered by a healthcare professional, such as a physician or nurse. In children two to five years of age, FluMist significantly reduced the number of influenza cases by more than 50 per cent, compared to the injectable vaccine.

I admit, I skipped my flu shot last year, but this year, this mist sounds a lot easier and more effective to me.I highly recommend considering getting the vaccination, or at least taking the other precautions such as washing your hands more frequently.

Let’s make this the best flu season yet … by NOT getting it!

School-age children are more susceptible to seasonal flu during community outbreaks, and immunization in this population has been associated with a decrease in death and illness in the elderly as well as in preschool children.
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