Side Effects From Intradermal Flu Shot

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If you are an adult between the ages of 18 to 64, you have the opportunity to receive an intradermal flu shot versus the regular flu shot. One certain advantage is the very fine needle used, which is 90% smaller, than the standard needle used for flu vaccines. Another advantage is that the needle does not need to go through skin, a layer of fat, and then the muscle. Instead, the intradermal vaccine is injected into cell layers that or located just underneath the skin surface. Many describe the procedure as virtually “ouch less.” Intradermal flu vaccines work in the body the same way as traditional flu shots, and are helpful in protecting the body against the anticipated flu viruses of the season. They also have similar safety profiles. The intradermal flu vaccine is not able to cause the flu, as the viruses used in the vaccine have been inactivated. There are, however, some common side effects from flu shots, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), side effects from intradermal injections are more common than those occurring with a regular flu shot. Following is a list of common side effects from an intradermal flu shot.

Injection Site

Many people who receive an intradermal flu shot experience a reaction around the injection site that they didn’t have with a regular flu shot. Some develop a raised bump, swelling, redness, and pain or itching at the injection site. These reactions are rarely serious and most will resolve by themselves in three to seven days.

Other Common Side Effects

Many of the side effects associated with the intradermal flu shot disappear within a week, as the body adjusts to the vaccine, and therefore do not require medical attention. Health care professionals are often able to prevent, or moderate the side effects. Along with pain at the injection site, some of the more common side effects, include:
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Nausea
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Stiffness and difficulty with moving
  • Fatigue
  • Chills

Severe Reactions

Severe reactions to the intradermal vaccine are uncommon, but may occur. If you experience any of the following side effects, you should contact your doctor or nurse immediately.
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Earache or ear congestion
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest tightening
  • Face puffiness or swelling
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hives or skin rash
  • Sudden, sharp back pain
  • Chest pain
  • Jaundice
Needle aversion is one of the main reasons that people report for choosing not to get a flu vaccination, and for them, the intradermal flu vaccine is a great option. A final advantage of the intradermal flu shot is that it requires approximately 40% less antigen than the traditional flu shot, so more doses of the vaccine are made available.  

Overview: Integra Miltex GYN Disposables

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What are the uses of Integra Miltex GYN Disposables?

Integra Miltex GYN Disposables are a line of disposable gynecological tools used primarily in sampling and biopsies. The Integra Miltex website cites potential uses for the tools to include “meeting the Clinician’s needs for evaluating both pre- and post-menopausal female patients with conditions of abnormal uterine bleeding, infertility, potential endometrial cancer, hormonally induced changes to the uterine lining, or to follow-up on the presence of endometrial cells on Pap smears” (

What are the types and functions of Integra Miltex GYN Disposables available?

  • OS Locator: Used to locate and dilate the external or internal ostium of the uterus, or cervical canal before a doctor performs a biopsy or sampling.
  • Canal Dilator: Used to locate and dilate the external or internal ostium of the uterus, or cervical canal before a doctor performs a biopsy or sampling.
  • Fundus Sound: Used to locate and dilate the external or internal ostium of the uterus, or cervical canal before a doctor performs a biopsy or sampling.
  • Uterine Sound: Used to measure the depth of the uterus.
  • Endometrial Sampling Set (includes a 10-mL twist and lock syringe and disposable curette): Used to remove a sample from the uterine lining or uterus via either scraping or suction. This sample may be biopsied, tested for cancer or other diseases, or checked for menstrual irregularities.
  • Endometrial Biopsy Cannula: Used to remove a sample from the uterine lining or uterus via either scraping or suction. This sample may be biopsied, tested for cancer or other diseases, or checked for menstrual irregularities.

What are the advantages of using Integra Miltex GYN Disposables?

  • Made of plastic: Historically, medical tools have been made of stainless steel. Plastic tools allow the devices to be softer for the patient and more flexible which allows the doctor more maneuverability without causing additional pain to the patient. Miltex also found that the use of plastic tools and devices may actually minimize cramping or pain that the patient experiences.
  • Single use: Integra Miltex GYN Disposables are individually packaged and created for a single use. The Disposables have already been sterilized via Ethylene Oxide Sterilization (ETO Sterilization) prior to being sealed in their packaging. Since the Disposables are single use, they may be disposed of immediately after use and there is no need to re-sterilize.
  • Cost-effective: The sterilization process has been completed before buying the product, thus reducing cost to the doctors and establishments of re-sterilization.
  • Soft and hard plastic options: The Disposables come in both soft and hard options to help doctors obtain the flexibility or rigidity they prefer.

What are the disadvantages of using Integra Miltex GYN Disposables?

  • Disposal: After use, the tools will have biomedical waste affixed to them and as such must be disposed of in a specialized container. This type of additional waste creation may present an added cost to doctors or the establishment. Disposal of biomedical waste has also been shown to have a negative impact on the environment.
  • Re-Use: Although the product is not intended for multiple uses, a possibility exists that some doctors or establishments will choose to reuse them due to budgeting concerns, etc. When reused, there is a chance that the devices may degrade, alter, or become unsafe for use and thus pose a serious risk to patients.

Increase Turnaround time in a lab

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How to Improve Lab Turnaround Time

Labs play an important role in healthcare as they contribute to the patient making the right medical condition. The pathology reports are required by physicians to make them aware of the patient’s results. Getting fast results is necessary as it makes patients trust the doctor and it translates into having an increased money pool due to a large patient base. However, a common problem that affects the process is having poor turnaround times in the lab. The tests take a long time to be done, and with everything looking the same, there is a high chance of doctors getting the wrong results or having the wrong samples tested. These things end up wasting time and resources that would have been used doing the right tests. In some instances, patients opt to have their tests done in a different hospital since they do the tests faster. Time is a major factor in healthcare since it makes a big difference in treatment, especially when dealing with critical patients. For the labs to have a fast turnaround time, there are some changes that can be made. Some are mentioned below:

Having a central working bench

There can be a central workbench dedicated to storing samples. The vacutainers can be color coated to establish if the samples are for single tests or need to have multiple tests done on them. These changes will make it easier for pathologists to do tests since they will not have to spend time looking for shared samples and the entire process will be fast.

Pre-analytical checkpoint

There can be a pre-analytical checkpoint where the samples are confirmed by the actual tests. It is beneficial since it will save on time used to test the wrong samples and you can avoid getting the wrong results due to human error.

Auto validation

There can be a list of tests that can be auto validated since they have been performed on automated instruments. The list could include more tests since the machines performing the tests are well calibrated. There could also be auto-authorization, so there is less dependency on a single or team of pathologists to validate every test as it will reduce the time needed to report a test while improving efficiency.

Multitasking training for staff

There are times when the hospital experiences a shortage of management staff. When the situation arises, you need to know how best to manage it without causing backflow in the department. One way this can be handled is by teaching the majority of the staff how to perform tests in different pathology sections. Doing this will save on overtime costs and cover up for the shortage of workforce efficiently.

Using a pneumatic tube system for transporting samples

You cannot expect pathology to give results if they do not get the samples. A key contributor to the turnaround time is the time taken to transport the samples to the labs. To improve the time, you can use pneumatic tube systems as it will ensure the samples are transported safely and timely. The sooner the samples reach the pathologists, the faster they can start running the tests. The main factors that make a lab stand out are:
  • high volume reports
  • high efficiency reports and
  • fast delivery of reports.
Having a fast turnaround time is beneficial since you can generate more revenue. These measures will help improve that and will also help improve other departments. Having an automated lab improves the efficiency and streamlines lab operations. It also improves the TAT and makes it rise to significant levels.  

Different types of pulmonary lung diseases

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Types of pulmonary lung diseases

There exists a whole list of pulmonary lung diseases affecting humans. They all vary in severity though it is common that they can pose jeopardy to the life of an individual. Lately, statistics have indicated a steady increase in the number of individuals that are affected by the various types of pulmonary lung diseases. As such, it is prudent to take precautionary measures that would help you to avoid the disease by all means necessary. Early diagnosis can be very handy as it may help to prevent the disease from developing into dangerous stages. Below are some of the types of pulmonary lung diseases common in today’s population


This is a condition characterized by the inflammation and sensitivity of the bronchial tubes. The airways through the bronchioles then become irritated by certain substances including;
  • Chemical spray
  • mold
  • cigarette smoke
  • or even air pollution.
Individuals suffering from asthma can also react to allergens including dust and pollen. Asthma can be dangerous as it causes difficulty in breathing. Besides, wheezing, chest tightness and coughing are some of the symptoms that have been reported in patients suffering from asthma.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

This an umbrella term for two lung conditions namely chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It affects the bronchial tubes thereby causing permanent inflammation which in turn leads to the overproduction of mucus. This will eventually lead to difficulty in breathing. As well, when the mucus is in excess, the patient tends to have a persistent cough and may also put make the patient vulnerable to attack by various infections. Emphysema attacks the air sac which means there will be less oxygen getting into the blood stream thus causing symptoms like wheezing, coughing as well as shortness of breath. The primary cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases is smoking cigarettes among other causes

Lung cancer

Statistics reveal that lung cancer is the number one killer of all the cancers in the world. Lung cancer is commonly known to be of two types; small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Even though they are both dangerous and can easily cause death, small cell lung cancer tends to spread quicker than the non-small cell lung cancer. The main cause of both of the lung cancer types is smoking.

Pulmonary emboli

These are primarily blood clots that form in some parts of the body. They then travel from those parts of the body then get stuck in the lungs. This sticking then causes breathing problems as well as reducing the flow of oxygen to the circulatory system when the blood clots are big, it can be life threatening.

Pulmonary fibrosis

This is a rare lung condition in which the lung tissue scars and becomes stiff over time. What follows is that the lung is inhibited from its primary function of facilitation gaseous exchange. You can develop pulmonary fibrosis for a number of reasons including chemotherapy for breast cancer in women, some lung infections, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. When the cause of the clots is not determined then it is referred to as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Above are some of the examples of lung conditions and what causes them. It is imperative to note that lung conditions are dangerous and as such you should always seek medical attention when you notice some of the symptoms mentioned above. Besides, take all the precautionary measures you can to avert all the dangers.  

5 Major Myths About Flu

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flu Every year most households experience colds and the like but when the flu season hits things get a bit more serious. Not just a simple cold or virus, the flu can be very severe even in otherwise healthy people. Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions about the flu and this can lead to people not being properly protected or prepared for flu season. Let’s take a look at five major myths about the flu:

The Flu Shot Can Cause The Flu

Every year a vaccine is offered to the public that is designed to help protect against the flu. While some years the vaccine is more effective than others, there are people that believe that getting the flu shot will put the virus in their body and they could potentially become sick from it. Such is not the case. The viruses that are used to create the shots are actually dead so there is no way that you can get sick from it. The newer nasal mist being used does contain live viruses but they are weakened and cannot cause symptoms. While a reaction to the ingredients in a vaccine is possible, you are not going to get the flu from the shot.

If You Have Been Sick For A Few Days, An Antibiotic Is Necessary

Doctors prescribe antibiotics when they believe that a bacterial infection of some sort is present. Typically, after a few days of being sick, an antibiotic is used to kill off the bacteria and help a person recover. However, with the flu, you are dealing with a virus which cannot be affected by an antibiotic. If you have been sick for a number of days and are not seeing any improvement or are declining, you may want to seek out medical assistance for some fluids or medication that will help with vomiting or nausea, but antibiotics are not going to work for you.

It’s Just Another Illness

Sore throats, coughs and runny noses are common in the winter months when germs are quite prevalent in schools, offices and public places, but the flu should be taken very seriously. Many people write it off as just another illness but in fact, flu symptoms are very severe. Some years the flu is much worse than others but in general, people tend to be very symptomatic for at least seven days. After that, it can take weeks before feeling completely normal again. Fever, body aches, headaches, exhaustion, sore throat and more are just some of the symptoms people experience. Pneumonia is a common complication associated with the flu and can affect any demographic.

You Can’t Spread The Flu If You Have No Symptoms

The flu might be present in your home and you might not be sick but that doesn’t mean you can’t spread the flu to other people. People who have had the flu shot and people who are asymptomatic can still be carriers of the virus and pass it on to healthy people. If the flu is present in your family or household then its best to limit your exposure to other people until you are sure everyone is healthy and you are not going to get sick. The last thing you want to do is get someone else very ill.

You Don’t Need A Flu Shot Yearly

In fact, the flu shot is a completely different variety each year based off the current virus that is going around. Just because you had a flu shot last year or the year before doesn’t mean that you are protected this year as well. Always stay on top of  

How to maintain your blood sugar

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bs   A study on 140,000 people showed that those who eat a Mediterranean diet – plant-based diet, including beans, fruits, vegetables, and nuts – have lower chances of developing diabetes. The fiber and phytonutrients found in plants help to control blood sugar. Big swings in blood sugar can make you feel very ill. By making very simple changes to your lifestyle, you will have better blood sugar control. Here are several ways that you can maintain a healthy blood sugar level:

Take daily walks

The body produce excess cortisol, when you are stressed, to help you run away from threats. You need to burn off this cortisol by exercising. No matter how busy your day is, make sure that you make time for a 30-minute walk. Strengthening your muscles will make them a lot more receptive to insulin, which will help them to use more glucose. If your day is extremely busy, wake up earlier than usual and take a walk before hitting the shower.

Eat several small meals

Who said that you must eat three square meals a day to be healthy? You should try eating small helpings of food throughout the day. This will help your body to avoid the ups and downs that come with starving and stuffing yourself.

Add cinnamon

Sprinkle some cinnamon on your skim-milk cottage cheese or high-fiber breakfast. It will help in making insulin more effective and stimulate the manufacture of those enzymes that burn up glucose.

Increase fiber in your diet

The more fiber you consume, the slower carbohydrates in your system will be digested, giving glucose more time to move into your bloodstream. This will help in preventing blood sugar spikes. Moreover, you may end up losing a few pounds: fiber will fill you up without filling you out, as it is not absorbed.

Drink milk

Even if you are overweight, the consumption of dairy foods can lower your risk of insulin resistance due to enzymes and proteins found in milk, which slow the conversion of food sugar to blood sugar. Just one cup of milk per day can reduce your insulin resistance by 20%.

Eat grapefruits

According to a study, consuming half a grapefruit with each meal for twelve weeks will not only help you lose an average of 3.6 pounds, but also reduce your glucose and insulin levels after each meal.

Relaxation exercises

Whether it is meditating in a quiet room for ten minutes, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation, you should try relaxation exercises at least once a day; they might have a significant impact on your blood sugar. High stress levels usually result in high blood sugar. Stress also causes weight gain because it releases cortisol, which spikes blood sugar.

Sleep well

There is a lot of evidence showing that less than 6 hours of sleep affects your blood sugar levels, increasing your insulin resistance. Too much sleep, on the other hand, is not good for your body. Make sure that you strike a good balance between rest and your daily activities.

Lose weight

Losing weight can really help in maintaining your blood sugar levels. You do not have to lose much weight; losing 8 pounds in a year will be enough.

Consider supplements

If your blood sugar is higher than normal, you should take supplements that help in controlling blood sugar. The best supplement options include Gymnema sylvestreare and Green coffee extract. Studies also show that taking chromium picolinate daily increases glucose control and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.    

Seasonal Flu vs Pandemic Flu

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Seasonal flu

Seasonal flu is a very contagious respiratory disease caused by the influenza viruses. It occurs annually, especially in the fall and winter. Seasonal flu can cause severe illness and even death. Furthermore, it poses a greater risk for people with a weak immune system. However, seasonal flu in most cases is not serious for a majority of victims since they are already partly protected by vaccination of a similar flu virus. Flu shots given yearly also play a vital role in protecting individuals from seasonal flu.

Characteristics of seasonal flu

Seasonal flu is highly characterized by the following:
  • Outbreaks occur annually, mostly during winter.
  • A flu vaccine (nasal spray or flu shot) is made yearly to prevent the spread of the seasonal flu.
  • Seasonal flu is caused by viruses similar to the ones from the past few years. This is the main reason why most people can fight off the illness.
  • Getting the nasal spray or the flu shot annually is the best way to protect yourself and your family from seasonal flu.
  • There’s space for those who are extremely sick since not all individuals who fall ill will need to go to the hospital. This is because most symptoms are mild and can be cured by home remedies.
  • A contagious person can start spreading the seasonal flu to others around a day before he/she feels sick and up to five days after he/she falls ill.
  • Most healthy adults do not get very sick. The elderly, the very young ones and persons with chronic health problems could get very sick.

Pandemic flu

Pandemic flu is different from seasonal flu and can be much worse. It can lead to a global outbreak of a new form of the flu virus, which can easily be transmitted from one individual to another because they don’t have immunity. Pandemic flu typically occurs when a flu virus goes through transformations (usually referred to as “mutations”) that create a new virus that the human body has never encountered. The body of the infected individual has no immunity to the new virus that has mutated and therefore it cannot overcome the new virus. The new pandemic flu virus could spread all over the world since it would be able to be transmitted easily. The result is therefore referred to as the flu pandemic. During the 20th century, three severe influenza pandemics claimed the lives of millions of people. These pandemics were as follows;
  1. the Spanish Flu in 1918
  2. the Asian Flu in 1957, and
  3. the Hong Kong Flu of 1968
Experts have reason to believe we are due for one since flu pandemics have a tendency to occur in cycles and we haven’t witnessed any major flu pandemic in many years.

Characteristics of pandemic flu

The following characteristics are directly linked to the pandemic flu:
  • Usually, occurs when a new virus spreads to people worldwide.
  • People of all ages as well as healthy people could as well get very sick.
  • Since the virus is new, most people tend to get sick after being exposed
  • No one can fully know or predict how fast the pandemic flu will spread to others or make an individual sick.
  • When the pandemic flu first emerges, its vaccine may not be available. It may take up to six months to prepare the first dose of the vaccine of that particular pandemic.
  • Millions of people get sick such that health care providers and hospitals may not handle or accommodate all the patients who need care.

Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

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Understanding Diabetes: Type I Versus Type II

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases that occur when blood sugar or levels are consistently high. Food that is eaten is turned into sugars or glucose. When food is turned into sugars, the pancreas is supposed to release insulin. Insulin allows glucose to enter cells to be used as energy. With diabetes, this does not happen correctly. There are two different types of diabetes, type I and type II. Diabetes can also occur during pregnancy. This is known as gestational diabetes. More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. Worldwide, more than 380 million people have the disease. The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is expected to continue to rise. Diabetes is responsible for more deaths than AIDS and is a leading cause of kidney and heart failure, nerve damage, amputation and blindness.

Type I Versus Type II Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are both are characterized by high blood sugar levels. Both types have similar symptoms and complications, but they are two different diseases with different causes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Insulin-dependent diabetes, sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes, is a more severe form of the disease. This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. People with Type I diabetes produce no insulin because the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed by the immune system. Type I diabetes is thought to be caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections daily to control their blood sugar. Type I diabetes can occur at any age although it most commonly initially occurs in people under the age of 20.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type II diabetes is the most common type in the United States. With type 2 diabetes, the person does not produce enough insulin or the body cannot recognize and use the insulin that it does produce. When the body does not produce enough insulin, glucose cannot get into the body’s cells to be used as energy. Glucose then builds up in the blood causing elevated insulin levels. Type II diabetes is caused by a number of factors. Some of the risk factors for type II diabetes include:
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor diet
  • Obesity
Type II diabetes typically occurs in people over the age of 40, although type II diabetes is being seen more frequently in children. It is more common in overweight individuals but can occur in those who are not overweight. Unlike type I diabetes, diet and exercise changes can help prevent or manage type II diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

The symptoms of diabetes tend to be the same for type I as for type II, although the symptoms can vary by type. For example, weight loss is common in type I diabetes, while numbness, tingling in the hands and feet are seen in type II. In type I diabetes, the symptoms tend to occur more rapidly than in type II. Some of the common symptoms of both types of diabetes include:
  • Frequent urination
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal or frequent infections
  • Feeling very thirsty or hungry frequently
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision

Treatment for Diabetes

Treatment for type I and type II diabetes can vary. Individuals with type I diabetes must take insulin shots daily. Insulin shots may or may not be needed with type II diabetes. Sometimes, oral medications are used instead. For both type I and type II diabetes, regular exercise and compliance with a diabetic diet are important.

Differences between Influenza Strains

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More Than One Type Of Crud

The Common Cold is often confused with Influenza, because the two have very similar symptoms. However they’re very different from one another. Primarily, influenza and colds are different in terms of severity. If the common cold made you stuffed up for a week, influenza might leave you stuffed up for a two weeks to a month. Also, you’re not so likely to have that weak, foggy, can’t-get-out-of-bed feeling with the common cold–unless you’re sicker than normal already. Meanwhile, this is a common aspect of influenza. So just because you’re hacking and wheezing doesn’t mean you’ve got the flu or the cold; there are other things to consider. And if that weren’t enough, there are multiple kinds of influenza as well! These fall under three categories:
  • Influenza Type A
  • Influenza Type B
  • Influenza Type C
Creatively named, aren’t they? Well, there’s a reason for this: each of the types listed have their own idiosyncrasies. Thankfully, there is some simplification: Types A and B are those which generally infect individuals in a noticeable way every year. Type C is apt to be compared to the common cold, as severity of symptoms is much less intense. With these clarifying bits of information in mind, let’s look deeper at flu types.

Influenza Type A

Influenza A can make animals sick, though people are more likely to be besought by this viral scourge. Birds can act as as a sort of airborne typhoid Mary for influenza type A, infecting people while not being infected themselves–serving as hosts, essentially. Type A is an influenza category in continual flux. Swine flu, bird flu, etc.–these are all Type A.

Influenza Type B

You’re only going to encounter influenza B in people. It’s usually not going to initiate a reaction with the same level of severity as influenza type A. That said, this can still be a killer for those young, old, weak, poor, or otherwise under-represented in terms of immune system strength. This isn’t a pandemic strain of influenza.

Influenza Type C

This was mentioned earlier: a basic type, if such a term can be applied to the flu, influenza C is a human-centered virus that is characterized as more mild than either types A or B. You’re not going to get too sick from Type C, it’s not going to cause a pandemic.

What To Do If You Contract The Flu

Well, firstly, all flu shots should be taken before contraction of influenza. Flu shots introduce inert antigens into your body, introducing an immune-system response. If you’re not properly healthy when this happens, you’ll double-down on current symptoms. Don’t get a flu shot if you’re already sick, wait until you’re healthy. Conversely, it may be more sensible to avoid the inoculation altogether and instead focus on natural remedies that arm your immune system against viruses. There are a few things you can do in this regard. For example, you can eat raw garlic. If you eat a raw garlic clove–and chew that spicy thing up!–every three to four hours, you can cut your infected time in half. Vitamin C is also excellent for the immune system, as is Vitamin D. A cap-full of apple-cider vinegar makes your bloodstream more alkaline, and can reduce viral interlopers hiding there. Onions and spicy foods in general are also good for you, as they make it hard for viruses to survive in the body. Chicken soup is good because of the broth, and so is beef broth like that found in Vietnamese Pho. Lastly, rest as much as you can, and drink lots of water.  

Why Are Pregnant Women More Likely to Become Severely Ill With the Flu

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During pregnancy, changes in your immune system, heart, and lungs make you more susceptible to developing severe illness when you have the flu. You are also more likely to contract the flu and other diseases during this time. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of the flu and precautions you should take to avoid it.

How do I know if I have the flu?

While the symptoms are the same for everyone who contracts the flu, if you are pregnant, these symptoms are likely to be more severe:
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • A fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • Headache
  • Body Aches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Should I get the flu vaccine?

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant it is very important that you receive the flu vaccine. It has been documented that pregnant women who get the vaccine get sick less often, and if they do contract the flu, the symptoms are mild. Getting a mild case of the flu will not harm you or your baby, but a severe case can be harmful or even fatal. The vaccine is available in two forms, an injection or a nasal spray. You may only get the injection when you are pregnant. The nasal spray has not been approved for use by pregnant women.

Is the vaccine safe for my baby?

Thimerosal, which contains a small amount of mercury, is a common preservative in vaccines. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), this preservative is not harmful to your baby. You can, however, ask your healthcare provider for a vaccine that is preservative free.

Are there side effects from the vaccine?

The side effects from the flu vaccine are usually very mild and limited to soreness at the injection site. Occasionally, the following symptoms develop:
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
If you are going to develop side effects, it usually happens shortly after receiving the shot and doesn’t last longer than one to two days. If you do develop side effects, and they last longer than two days, contact your health care provider.

How will the doctor treat the flu while I am pregnant?

Antiviral medications should be started within the first 48 hours of contracting the flu, however, they can be started after that. The most common antiviral used is Tamiflu, and the usual dose is a 75 mg capsule twice a day for five days. It is important to recognize that your symptoms may become very severe without treatment. The risks are:
  • During previous flu outbreaks, pregnant women were more likely to become very ill or even die.
  • It is difficult to predict who will become very ill.
  • When you are pregnant, you can become very ill very quickly.
  • Women who develop a high fever or a secondary pneumonia are likely to go into early labor.

Do I need an antiviral drug if I am around someone who has the flu?

You should see your doctor for an antiviral drug if you have had close contact with someone who is ill with the flu. Close contact includes:
  • Caring for someone who is sick with the flu
  • Sharing utensils with someone who is sick with the flu
  • Being near someone who coughs, sneezes, or has a runny nose
In addition to getting a flu shot, you can also protect yourself and your unborn baby by avoiding touching your face and using hand sanitizer or washing your hands often.    
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