Friday, October 26, 2007

The Flu Season Has Arrived

It’s that time of the year. You woke up with a scratchy throat, and over the course of the morning you find yourself coughing more and more. By the afternoon your head is thumping and you feel feverish. Do you have a common cold, or are you experiencing this year’s flu? According to the National Library of Medicine “colds rarely cause a fever or headaches.” Well there’s the bad news, is there any good news?

For most people the flu is simply a serious inconvenience lasting one to two weeks. However, the CDC reports that “every year in the United States, on average: 36,000 people die from the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications.” So, the flu is not something to be taken lightly. Moreover, it’s not uncommon for a bout of the flu to lead to sinus infection or even pneumonia.

What’s the best way to avoid becoming another statistic? According to the CDC, “The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a flu vaccination each year.” The Alabama Department of Public Health provides a list of flu clinics in Jefferson County and a nifty little zip code box to help you find a flu shot near to you.

For those who have an aversion to needles, or must postpone a trip to a clinic for a shot, try following some simple preventative habits. 1) Avoid close contact with those already exhibiting symptoms. 2) Clean your hands frequently. 3) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Is it too late? Do you already feel the sniffles coming on? If you feel up to it, you might want to look through one of our databases: Health & Wellness Resource Center. A database certainly never replaces a doctor or other medical professional, but this database will provide you with a wealth of information on over the counter remedies, natural remedies and magazine articles on cutting down your recovery time.

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