1: an acute febrile highly contagious viral disease [syn: influenza, grippe]
What is the flu and will it kill you?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can be mild or severe and at times, it can even lead to death.
Statistics show that on average, in the United States, 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu (some years are clearly more virulent than others); more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from complications and approximately 36,000 people die!
How does the flu vaccine work?
The influenza vaccine is made by first growing the influenza virus in eggs. It is then killed and processed to create the vaccine, which is then injected under our skin. Note: if you are allergic to eggs, you better tell your doctor fast.
Over the next two to four weeks, the body then produces antibodies to the virus. If you come into contact with the influenza bug, your body is set to attack and kill the virus before it has a chance to swing into full force. The vaccine covers the three most likely strains to arrive during the flu season.
What happens if you are either infected before the two to four weeks that your body is busy producing antibodies? What happens if you are attacked by one of the less likely strains to attack during the flu season? The flu shot is 80% effective, but that’s if it’s for the right flu, and the shot is administered at the right time.
Who should get the flu vaccine? And who should not?
The Center for Disease Control suggests that the following people get flu shots:
• all children aged 6-23 months;
• adults aged 65 years and older;
• persons aged 2-64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions;
• all women who will be pregnant during the influenza season;
• residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
• children aged 6 months-18 years on chronic aspirin therapy;
• health-care workers involved in direct patient care; and
• out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged 6 months.
And the CDC suggests that the following people do NOT get flu shots:
• persons with a severe allergy (i.e., anaphylactic allergic reaction) to hens’ eggs and
• persons who previously had onset of Guillain-Barré syndrome during the 6 weeks after receiving influenza vaccine.
What does Our Lady of Weight Loss say?
Natural flu busters are a good idea.
* Green tea – Studies show that Green tea is a natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial remedy. It is natural immune system booster that may help you get you through this flu season (and it has been reported that it aids in weight loss).
* Garlic – Long used as a natural antibiotic and antiviral, Garlic acts as a “mucokineti” agent. It alleviates congestion commonly associated with flu. Caution: Garlic is a blood thinner. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you are currently on an aspirin or prescription blood thinner regimen.
* Vitamin C – Many studies have shown Vitamin C to boost the immune system.
* Fruits and Vegetables – be sure to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
* Water – drink plenty of it. Flush those toxins out of your body.
* Sleep – get enough rest.
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, Cert. Hypnotist, author,columnist, seminar leader and 50 pound big-time-loser.
Follow her on Twitter!
Want a free Weight Loss Consult?