Ear Infection and the Flu

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ear-infection-II xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx The flu can hit your home fast and hard with symptoms such as a high fever, severe body aches, chills, runny nose, sore throat, cough, vomiting and much more. Unlike other bacterial and viral illnesses, the flu can linger for a number of days and sometimes even weeks in the most severe cases. Staying in bed, staying hydrated and getting better are key points to getting better but for some people, secondary infections can occur as a result of the flu. Pneumonia is a big culprit, especially in the elderly population and ear infections are very common among children and young adults.  

What Is It?

An ear infection occurs in the middle ear area and can be bacterial or viral in nature. When it comes after a flu it can be caused by the virus itself or by bacteria that has grown because of fluid buildup in this area during the height of flu symptoms. Typically the most common symptoms associated with an ear infection is pain in the affected ear or ears, discharge from the ear, a plugged feeling in the ear or dizziness. An ear infection can sometimes go away on its own but really shouldn’t be ignored as it can lead to complications like hearing loss if left untreated.

How Is It Treated?

If an ear infection has stemmed from the flu the ear infection itself can be treated. The influenza virus is viral in nature so an antibiotic isn’t going to work for that. However, if the ear infection is bacterial-based then an antibiotic can help. There are also a number of ear drops that can be administered directly in the ear canal to help alleviate pain, pressure and infection.

How Can You Tell Them Apart?

Pretty different in nature, ear infections will showcase symptoms that are pretty specific to the inner ear region. Unless the infection has spread you won’t feel the full body aches and symptoms that you feel with a flu virus. The flu can really knock a person off of their feet for an extended length of time and usually the person will be bed ridden for a number of days. While an ear infection can be a complete nuisance, you can usually function to some degree with it.

Home Remedies

If you are sick at home, or one of your children is sick and this prevents you from being able to get to the doctor immediately there are some ways you can cope with an ear infection at home. Of course rest is beneficial but when you lay down, have the affected ear upwards in the air if you are sleeping on your side. This can help your ear drain rather than have the fluid building up and symptoms becoming worse. You can apply warm and moist heat to the area around the ear as well as on top of the ear by way of a washcloth or a heating pack. Be careful not to use too hot of a temperature as you can burn yourself on this sensitive area. There are also over the counter ear drops that may help alleviate pain a bit and help you get through a few days where you can then be seen by your doctor. Hot showers provide heat and steam to loosen fluid and flush the area out. In order to prevent the flu as well as secondary infections such as an ear infection, the flu vaccine can be administered prior to the start of flu season. Depending on where you live, this could be as early as September or October. The flu vaccine is not one hundred percent effective against protecting against the flu but it can help create a pretty good barrier against illness along with proper rest, diet and exercise.

Characteristics of Seasonal Flu

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8k39fftq-1416327409 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Flu is a dangerous infection caused by the flu virus. Most viruses can scarcely cause an illness that is comparable to flu. The seasonal flu virus usually is most prevalent during the cold season. When it attacks you, you are likely to recover after a short time. However, you complications such as pneumonia can develop due to the attack by this virus. In bad cases, people lose their lives due to complications stemming from this disease. The good thing is that there exists a flu jab that is administered to keep you away from the virus when the season that it is most prevalent sets in. Flu occurs in three types; type A, B, and C. when the winter season sets in, each virus causes an outbreak of flu which affects a large population.

Symptoms of the Flu

Common flu symptoms include the following:
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Feeling sick or nausea
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Sweats
  • Fever
The influenza virus causes illnesses that are worse than those caused by other viruses which cause a flu-like illness. In some instances, the flu can make you feel sick enough to go to bed. In babies and young children, the most common fly symptoms include difficulty in breathing, sore throat, sweats, sneezing, lethargy as well as poor feeding. In some children with fever, there can be a case of febrile convulsion. Usually, when the seasonal flu virus attacks you, you start by experiencing mild symptoms of the illness then the symptoms start being severe after one to two days of infection. After that, they gradually diminish in severity over the following several days. However, you may experience an irritating cough for about a week after the disappearance of some symptoms. Even as the symptoms may take long to ease up, most individuals will feel fine after two to seven days.

How To Treat the Flu

In normal circumstances, your immune system should be able to do away with the virus after a short period of suffering. What treatment does is to ease the various symptoms until the infection is done away with. As well, the aim of treatment is to prevent complications brought about by the flu virus. When you have contracted the virus, the prudent thing to do is stay at home and prevent passing on the virus to healthy individuals that you may interact with. To ease your fever and pain and aches, paracetamol is handy. To prevent lack of fluid in the abdomens, you will have to embark on an intake of plenty of fluids. Throat lozenges, decongestant drops as well as saline nasal drops are also handy in easing nose and throat symptoms.

Prevention of the Seasonal Flu Virus

Prevention is definitely better than cure. In this respect, it is better to focus on precluding the disease. There are many ways of preventing it including the following:
  • Exclude individuals with the flu from preschool, childcare, work, and school until it is confirmed that there is no fever for 24 hours.
  • Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after coughing or sneezing. Use clean water and an alcohol-based hand rub for this purpose.
  • Thoroughly clean all the frequently touched surfaces using a detergent a dump piece of cloth
  • Whenever you a cough or sneeze, see to it that you cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and not with your bare hand.
The above are some of the characteristics of seasonal flu virus that you need to take note of to be able to know how to handle it should it strike.

Vaccinating your Child

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9-Vaccinations-Your-Child-Needs-for-School Vaccinations are conversational these days. Some parents believe children who attend school should be vaccinated while others do not. Depending on your beliefs, it is important to know that while vaccination are typically designed to protect children from harmful illnesses and diseases, they do come with side effects for some people whether healthy or unhealthy. Regardless, vaccination should remain a freedom of choice.    

What are the common vaccinations recommended for children attending school?

The recommended vaccinations that are most required to begin school are Polio, Tetanus, DTaP, MMR, Hepatitis B, and Chickenpox. On top of those vaccinations doctors and schools are also asking parents to vaccinate their children against are whooping cough, HPV, and meningitis. The good news for those who are against vaccinations is that most states do not require children to get vaccinations to begin school.

How can you opt out of vaccinations and still have your child attend school?

Most parents believe if they opt out of vaccinating their children, they will not be able to attend school. However, this belief is a myth. In most states, parents can request a medical waiver from their MD. Unfortunately, the medical waiver is the only thing that can allow your children to skip out on the vaccinations and still attend school. If you for some reason cannot get this waiver, you will either need to find an MD who will sign off or start homeschooling your children.  

What are the advantages and disadvantages of vaccinations?

For those who decide to vaccinate their children before school starts, it is wise to keep in mind that side effects can occur from vaccinations such as:
  • Allergic reactions
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Illness
  • Autism
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Learning disabilities
With that said, those side effects alone are reasons why some parents opt out of vaccinating their children. The benefit your children can receive from vaccinations if you decide it is best is protection from certain infectious diseases if any were to breakout in your community.  

Bottom Line

Shots or no shots come with risks. Whatever you decide needs to be the best choice for you and your family. After all, there is no wrong or right decision with vaccinations. They are provided to communities as an option for protection against illnesses that could potentially infect a community. It is however hard to say if any potentially infectious disease ever would, but many who go without vaccinations live long and healthy lives.  

FluMist or Flu Shot – Which One Should I Get?

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Modern Options

There are quite a few different options for inoculations in modernity. From the shot to the mist, from the mist to the oral ingestion, many different ways exist in the world of vaccination. While a flu shot is conventionally the most effective means of administering inoculation, it may not be the best choice for young or old individuals. Some people have low pain-tolerance, fear of needles, or the inability to heal after a wound–however small–has been sustained. Also something to consider is the inherent power of a properly-functioning immune system. With an oral administration, or a mist that is inhaled through the nostrils, there is a greater chance the body will isolate against the inert pathogen and prevent the inoculation from being effective. If your immune system is working well, it can rebuff a great number of illnesses without any big difficulty. When a shot is administered, the inert pathogen gets directly into the bloodstream, and is more likely to work as intended.

How Vaccines Function

A vaccine brings a version of the virus in question into the body. That virus is not active. It’s essentially dead. Still, the human immune system will latch onto that inert pathogen, map it, and learn how to fight against it in the future. When this happens the body has a natural immune system response. Usually this involves a light illness for several days. The end result is that when a live version of the pathogen invades the body, white blood cells already have the necessary information to fight it off. There’s no “cure” in a vaccine; it’s just protection. You’ll still catch influenza if you’re exposed to the pathogen and your immune system isn’t healthy enough to rebuff it initially. The difference is, because of the inoculation, you’ll be able to bear the sickness, and it won’t last nearly so long. Additionally, it won’t be as severe as it would otherwise, allowing you to function almost normally despite having contracted influenza. For these reasons, vaccination works best when it is directly administered to the bloodstream; but in most scenarios, a FluMist application will have the desired effect. It’s just that an already healthy immune system may kick out the pathogen before its information can be fully tapped by white blood cells. This isn’t a likely event, it’s merely a possible event. Essentially, it doesn’t really matter what route you take when you’re getting your flu inoculation; but if you’re going to look at things technically, there exists a possibility–however minor–that the inoculation may not be effective as it should be if it’s not administered directly to the blood.

At-Risk Individuals

The flu is a global phenomenon for which there is no cure. It’s usually more intense than the common cold, and in America alone it is responsible for some 50,000+ deaths a year, on average. Following are the parties most at-risk for the flu:
  • Very Young Children
  • Elderly People
  • Impoverished People
  • Unhygienic Individuals
  • Schoolteachers
  • Hospitals
  • Anyone Who Sees Diverse Groups Regularly (Government Employees, Etc.)

When To Get Vaccinated

Flu season generally begins in September. It comes with the school year, then waxes and wanes until Summer returns and people become more healthy for a variety of reasons including outdoor activity, increased Vitamin D levels, and upbeat mentalities. The best time to guard against this year’s iteration of the flu is to get vaccinated sometime during the Summer. You have less chance of experiencing a vaccination shortage, and you’re more likely to be healthy. It’s best to be vaccinated when in proper health, as there’s a slight post-vaccination illness following administration.  

Will There be a New Flu Virus Circulating Around this Season?

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flu

The Short Answer

Yes, new iterations of the influenza virus will be circulating this year for which there is no vaccine. Will these new iterations be circulating in your local area? That’s more difficult to determine. Probably not. Following will be a brief examination of influenza viruses and their vaccines in order to further clarify this mystery.

A Developing Organism

Influenza isn’t static. It doesn’t remain in one form continually. It shifts and learns in similitude to people. As antibacterial solutions and antibiotics are used, those germs against which they protect become slowly inured. Influenza is no different. As mankind develops ways of fighting this virus off, it finds ways of pushing past our safeguards. Think of it like a sunburn. The first time you go to the sea, you may experience severe burning. If you stay in the sun, eventually you’ll develop a tan. You haven’t become a new organism, you’re not evolving–this is just a regular function of your body’s defense system against the elements. It’s why you build callouses and muscle. Likewise, a virus must continue to thrive, so its natural defense against inoculation and immune system response is to develop in severity such that it can overcome defensive measures. To that end, new strains of the influenza virus are continuously developing in cultures worldwide, and as yet modern scientists know no way of halting this.

The Implications

If influenza is developing into new forms of itself every year, then vaccinations must keep pace or be rendered inert. An upgraded version of a virus will naturally be able to overcome antiquated defenses. This is one of the reasons people have to get a vaccine for influenza every year: with each passing “wave” or “season” or “epidemic”, that influenza which “survives” has developed to spread itself the following year. Evidences of this include:
  • Bird flu
  • Swine flu
…and any other well-known iterations of the disease that have developed.

Effective Means of Combating The Flu On A Yearly Basis

American casualties which are inflicted by the influenza virus are usually 50,000+ on a yearly basis. What gets people most is poor health and poverty. The very young and the very old are the most at risk. The old, because their immune systems have been through the gamut and are wearing down. The young, because their immune systems have yet to fully develop. In both cases, influenza often opens the doors for pneumonia, who comes in and sets up like the worst kind of land-squatter in an empty condominium complex. A healthy body can usually combat the influenza virus with a minimum of sickness, and within several weeks’ time. Being in good health to combat flu is done by staying in good physical condition through regular physical activity and exercise, eating healthy by making sure there are plenty of vitamins, minerals, proteins, grains, or whatever is natural, available (and unprocessed), and getting vaccinated when the time is right. Ideally, vaccinations should occur in the middle of Summer. The sun shines down Vitamin D, which is most effectively absorbed through the skin. Spirits are high, and so are physical activity quotients. This trifecta of healthy living combines to make the human body at its peak in health during Summer months. Since vaccinations introduce a weakened pseudo-illness to the body, for which there is an immune-system response, receiving them during this time will be most effective. The body won’t have to deal with the antigens of the inoculation as long since it is in better operating condition, and you’re less likely to be shorted at the market due to lack of supply.

Why is the Flu More Serious in People with Asthma?

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health_0109_flu_640x360 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Asthmatics deal with wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest, and narrowing of the airways on a regular basis without proper medication to control it, or during exposure to irritants such as allergens. When asthmatics become infected with the flu their already delicate condition worsens causing them to need addition treatments from medical professionals.

Why is becoming infected with the flu more serious for asthmatics?

Becoming infected with the flu is more serious for asthmatics because it causes additional inflammation and tightness to the airways making it even more difficult to treat without hospitalization. The flu virus can also cause mucus and fluids to fill up in the lungs making the chest feel heavy making it more difficult for asthmatics to take a breath of air. Sadly, when the flu is left untreated in asthmatics it can turn into pneumonia or bronchitis, which is immediately treatment of the condition is necessary upon realizing flu symptoms.

What are the flu symptoms asthmatics experience?

The flu symptoms patients deal with when infected with the influenza virus are similar to the ones experienced by any ordinary health person infected with the virus, but the symptoms are intensified. Those symptoms are coughing, wheezing, runny nose, sneezing, headaches, chills, slight fever, body aches, difficulty breathing, chest congestion, heavy mucus and so forth. Thankfully, there are other treatments and remedies that are helpful for relieving these symptoms while suffering from the influenza virus.

What are the other treatments and remedies that are useful for easing flu symptoms?

The other treatments and remedies that are useful for easing flu symptoms in conjunction with prescription medications prescribed by doctors are countless. However, it Is wise to consult with your doctor before using any of these remedies with treatment from your doctor. For congestion in the chest, hot steamy showers or baths with eucalyptus and mint are beneficial for loosening up the heavy mucus. If taking a hot bath or shower doesn’t seem like a method, you are up too you can always gently place your face over comfortable steam and breathe it in and that should help loosen up the mucus so you can cough it up. Asthma patients suffering with coughing and wheezing, sipping on warm herbal teas and broths seem to do the trick, but in serious causes drinking a warm caffeinated beverage works wonders. This is because caffeinated beverages such as coffee or cocoa contain natural bronchodilation properties that help open the airways making it easier for an asthma sufferer to breathe. When it comes to easing sneezing and a running nose, elderberry tincture or hot medical infusion works best. Remedies you can use to supply the body with antioxidants and support the immune system so you can recover faster from the flu are garlic, Manuka honey, raw honey, lemon balm, Echinacea, vitamin C, and goldenseal.

What are some end thoughts to keep in mind?

With all that said, it is wise for asthmatic patients to take all preventative measures when flu season strikes. This means getting the flu vaccine, washing hands regularly, eating a good balance diet, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated and taking immune supporting supplements. It is also essential to stay away from others that are sick when you can. Even exercising and taking your regular daily asthma medication along with a multi-vitamin supplement is essential for keeping yourself as healthy as possible during flu season. Another thing you will want to avoid is physical and mental stresses that cause the body to work harder to fight of the flu. Taking these steps will help keep you healthy overall throughout the year.

Can the Flu Lead to Pneumonia?

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SG-Can-the-flu-turn-into-pneumonia-722x406 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx The typical flu season occurs between October and May. While these are the most common months that the flu is spread, you can actually contract it at any time throughout the year. The flu is extremely contagious. It can also make you very miserable if you have it. Some of the flu symptoms include:
  • Fatigue
  • High-grade fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Head and chest congestion
While the flu is awful on its own, it can result in serious complications. The most common complication is viral pneumonia. The flu virus can invade your lungs, which will make them swell. This can make it difficult to breathe. According to the Centers for Disease Control, pneumonia when combined with the flu is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States. The people who are most at risk of developing pneumonia from the flu are people over 65 years old, pregnant women, young children, and people with weakened immune systems. Viral pneumonia often clears up after a week or two, depending on the severity of the case. The symptoms of viral pneumonia are much like the symptoms of the flu, just more severe. The symptoms include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blueness in the lips
  • Sweating
  • Shaking and the chills
  • Constant fever of 102 degrees or higher

How To I Prevent Viral Pneumonia Caused By the Flu

The best way to keep from developing viral pneumonia caused by the flu is by preventing yourself from getting the flu. There are a few ways to protect yourself from the flu.

The Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine is the most effective way to keep from contracting the flu. In order to keep from getting the flu, you would need to be vaccinated every year. The flu vaccines that are developed are created according to the particular season’s strain of the flu. Many people avoid getting vaccinated against the flu because they are worried that they will get the flu. The traditional flu vaccine does not contain the flu virus at all. The FluMist vaccine does contain the flu virus, however, it is not enough to make a person sick. There are some side effects associated with the flu vaccine. The side effects are typically very mild and they typically don’t last longer than 24 hours.
  • Redness, soreness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Low-grade fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Wash Your Hands

It is important to wash your hands often during flu season. Just by touching a doorknob, sink fixture, or counter top that was touched by an infected person can infect you as well. Washing with antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer can be very effective. When you wash your hands often, you will greatly reduce our risk of contracting the flu.

Avoid Contact With Anyone Who is Sick With the Flu

It is best to avoid anyone who is sick, just in case they have the flu. If you have a child with the flu, you should wear a mask when in the same room with them and wash your hands often. Also, when they are feeling better, be sure to wash their blankets and disinfect any areas where they spent their time. The flu can make you very miserable. Not only are the symptoms enough to keep your bedridden for days, you are also contagious and can get others around you sick. Should your flu develop into something more serious such as pneumonia, it can be even worse, therefore, flu prevention is very important.

Overview: Enovachem Injection Kits

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VMBlog-BANNER-Enovachem-INJECTION-KITS Many physicians understand the impact that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has on the balance sheet. There are many articles out there which have tried to explain the financial impact of the legislation and many medical practitioners are looking for ways to restore their income. Fortunately, Enovachem injection kits is one of the ways they can reduce cost and boost revenue.

Benefits of Injection Kits

  • Time saving- the time used by staff to prepare injection trays and sterilize these items is cut therefore increasing the efficiency of the administration of medication.
  • HCFA Reimbursement- since they are used to dispense medication and treatment, they can be reimbursed by filling the HCFA 1500 form to a tune of up to $300.
  • Increase efficiency- since all the necessary equipment such as sterile gloves, prep pads, sterile wrap and even ammonia inhalant ampule are provided, more procedures can be carried out in one day, reducing the waiting time for patients and also increasing revenue.
  • Cost of procurement and administration is reduced- since there is one pack containing everything, the medical institution saves time keeping track of many suppliers since they can get the whole surgical pack from one supplier.
  • They provide simplified worker compensation billing or may even be adjudicated should the medical practice choose to handle such matters.

Enovachem Kits

As you may have already anticipated, all injection kits are not the same, for Enovachem Injection Kits, they strive to provide the most dynamic kit in the industry with varied clinical applications from B-12 injections to Depo-Medrol, Marcain, Ketorolac, Dexam thasone and Betamethasone Kenalog. The kit comes packaged as EZ use Pre injection and has several other application making them a streamlined method of dealing with pain treatment.

How long is the Flu Contagious For?

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sn-flu_1

Various Times

The more healthy you are, the less contagious you’re ultimately going to be. This is because the length your body is infected with the sickness will naturally be shorter if your body can fight said infection more thoroughly. Keeping in good physical and mental shape, as well as eating healthy, can reduce the time you are contagious with the flu. But there are limits. Generally, you will be contagious with influenza anywhere from twenty-four hours after infection to five days after symptoms have developed. Symptoms can take several days to develop. Generally, you’re looking at a spread between three days and about a week, week and a half. Those who have compromised immune system may remain continuously contagious.

Keep From Passing It On

Cough into your sleeve or shoulder or tissue. Don’t cough into your hands, because you’re going to touch doorknobs, rails, and other people. If you can, wear a surgical mask; they’re usually pretty cheap and can be found at any Wal-Mart. Gloves are a good measure too. Don’t get too close to people; give them at the very least three feet of space. Wear a scarf and wrap your mouth when you can, and hugs are pretty much right out of the question–unless huggers already know you’re sick, and could care less. Influenza is passed via phlegm. When you sneeze or cough, little micro-droplets of phlegm and it’s skinnier cousin, saliva, are diffused through the air. Others catch influenza by contacting the spread pathogen with their hands and then touching an open orifice, or by breathing in the droplets someone else sneezed out.

Medicate

Medicating may not always involve medication. Medicating is just supplying yourself with measures designed to facilitate cure. You can medicate by drinking orange juice and ingesting zinc, or getting Vitamin D–though, to be sure, Vitamin D is best absorbed from the sun through the skin, so you may want to find some sunny (but not overly hot) area for rest while you’re working through the sickness. Eat healthy foods, and gravitate toward a diet that is strong in liquids. Chicken noodle soup has a nutrient-rich broth that is exceptionally conducive to recovery.

Isolale Yourself

Isolating yourself from other individuals during your initial week of sickness is a good way to ensure they won’t get it, and you won’t spread it. You can stay in your own room, though you might want to move to the guest room for the duration.

Measures To Reduce Contagion

The more healthy you are when the sickness comes, the more quickly it’s going to pass. Keep yourself hydrated, keep yourself physically fit, avoid processed foods and regularly wash your hands. Do your laundry and clean in the corners. Black mold can grow which sends out spores that give you conditions which seem like the flu, and weaken the immune system. Avoiding that which takes away your immune system’s strength will ensure that when the flu hits, your body can defend itself entirely. Reducing the length you must deal with influenza reduces your length of contagiousness. Vaccinations can also help you be less contagious. They introduce your immune system to the season’s influenza strains, and when you come into contact with those strains later, your body can ostensibly fight them off more quickly,

Avoiding Becoming Another Statistic

There are some 50,000 people who lose their lives in America on a yearly basis because of influenza. These are mostly extremely old or extremely young people–those who have the least physical defenses, and the most weak immune systems. Being conscientious about your sickness helps you and those around you.

How can Flu Complications Affect You and Your Baby?

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pregz xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Influenza (the flu) is much more than just a sore throat or a runny nose. It is actually a serious disease that can make you very sick, and it can be very harmful if you get it during or right after pregnancy.

How do you get the flu?

Unfortunately, the flu spreads easily from person to person. When someone who has the flu sneezes, coughs, or even speaks, it passes through the air you breathe. You can also become infected if you touch something that has the flu virus on it and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. It is very important that you wash your hands often during flu season, especially if you are pregnant.

How can it hurt your pregnancy?

Complications from the flu, particularly pneumonia, can be quite serious and even deadly, especially if you are pregnant. If you contract the flu during pregnancy, you are more likely to experience serious complications, which is why you should be sure to get a flu shot before you conceive. If you get the flu while you are pregnant, your odds of preterm labor or premature birth are increased. It is considered preterm labor or premature birth, if it occurs at 37 weeks or less gestation. Just having a fever from the flu can cause your baby to have birth defects or other problems. Birth defects can cause problems with how your baby develops and their general health.

What if you didn’t get vaccinated before pregnancy?

The flu shot cannot cause the flu, so it is safe to get it during pregnancy, preferably before flu season begins, however, you can get it anytime during pregnancy, and it will still be effective. Allergic to eggs? No problem. There are vaccines available now that do not contain any eggs. Because there are many different flu viruses that are always changing, protection from any flu shot only lasts a year. Each year a new vaccine is made based on the viruses that are most likely to make people sick, so it is important to get a flu vaccine every year. While you can get the vaccine from your primary care physician, it is also available at most drug stores and some places of employment.

How do you know if you have the flu?

The most common signs and symptoms of the flu are:
  • Sore throat or cough.
  • Stuffy or runny nose.
  • Muscle aches and pains.
  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea.
Pregnant women and those who have recently given birth, can be sick from the flu for a long time. Be sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following:
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing.
  • Chest or belly pressure or pain.
  • Severe or persistent vomiting.
  • Confusion.
  • Sudden dizziness.
  • A high fever that doesn’t respond to Tylenol.
  • Symptoms that get better, but then come back with a worse cough and a fever.
  • Less or no movement from your baby.

Why is the flu so harmful during pregnancy?

Pregnancy affects your immune system. Your immune system’s job is to protect you from disease and illness. When your body senses an intruder, like a virus, it works hard to rid your body of it. When you are pregnant, however, your immune system is already compromised, so that your body does not reject your baby. A lowered immune system means you can catch viruses like the flu much easier. Your lungs need more oxygen during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimester, which is another reason why the flu can be so harmful during pregnancy. As your torso expands, it puts pressure on your lungs, making them work harder. Some shortness of breath at times is not unusual. Your heart is also working harder to supply blood to both you and your baby. All of this adds up to more stress on your body, which can make you more likely to get the flu. You are more likely than other women to contract the flu if you are pregnant or just gave birth within the past two weeks of coming in contact with the virus. A flu shot either before or during pregnancy will protect both you and your baby from harm. The vaccination will also protect your baby during the first few months of life until he or she is old enough to get his or her own vaccinations.  
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