-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- With another flu season fast
approaching, those in the know offer ways to guard against
infection or deal with the flu if your efforts fail.
"Immunization is the most important step in protecting yourself against the flu," Dr. Kenneth Bromberg, director of the vaccine research center and chairman of pediatrics at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, in New York City, said in a hospital news release. "Everyone over the age of 6 months who does not have a life-threatening reaction to flu shots should be immunized."
He added: "If someone cannot tolerate a flu shot, he can get
immunized with a nasal spray, if under the age of 49."
Bromberg noted that it takes about 10 days for flu immunization
to be effective, so don't wait to get vaccinated. Even if the
immunization does not prevent the flu, it reduces the risk of death
from the flu.
Another expert emphasized that immunization is safe.
"Flu vaccines are safe. They will not give you the flu," Dr. David Hill, a professor of medical sciences and director of global public health in the school of medicine at Quinnipiac University, in Connecticut, said in a university news release.
Along with a flu shot, there are other "common-sense" ways that
you can protect yourself and others against the flu, Hill added.
These include the following:
The flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the flu,
agreed Dr. Aida Vega, director of the primary care program at the
Mount Sinai Faculty Practice Associates., in New York City.
What should you do if you develop flu symptoms such as fever,
cough and sore throat?
Most people with flu have mild illness and do not need to be
seen by a doctor. But people with underlying health conditions that
put them at increased risk of complications from flu should contact
their medical provider to determine if they need to be evaluated or
treated, Vega said.
If you suspect you have the flu and you go to see a doctor other
health care provider, ask office or hospital staff for a face mask
to help prevent the spread of the flu virus, Vega recommended.
If you have more severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing,
chest pain, dizziness or confusion, seek immediate medical care,
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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