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The Dangers of Influenza and Facts about the Flu Vaccine


It seems that everyone has got a great aunt or a grandmother who swears by a home remedy for the flu that’s been passed down from generation to generation. Waiting until the flu arrives is a little like putting the cart before the horse. Trying to prevent the flu is a good idea to try first.
But before fighting the flu, there are preventative measures to take in order to decrease the chances of contracting the dreaded flu.
Always wash your hands and make sure all members of the household wash theirs as well to prevent unnecessary spreading. Always cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing and wash your hands afterwards, again make sure all household members do also.
For those who do not eat a balanced diet, take vitamins. Keeping up on recommended daily allowances is very important. Studies show that flu spreads faster in populations that don’t eat a healthy diet.
Pregnant women, folks over 65, young children age 6 months to 2 years, anyone with a weak immune system or medical problems, all residents of nursing homes or assisted living centers, and all health care workers should all receive an annual flu shot.
Keeping your distance from those who are sick or showing flu-like symptoms is always a good idea. It’s not always easy but is important to try.
Once you or someone in your household is unlucky enough to develop the flu, there are several things you can do to fight the flue.
Hand washing is exceedingly important and will stop the spread of the flu. Most people know to wash clothes, bedding and the bathroom diligently in fighting the flu. However there are many other things that it’s important to keep clean. The TV and any other remote, the telephone, all doorknobs and handles, especially in the kitchen where hands go unconsciously to the mouth must be cleaned frequently. Make sure to clean the refrigerator handle, microwave controls, juice pitcher handle, cupboards and/or cupboard handles, faucets, tables and chairs. These are things we all touch many times a day after having our hands near or in our mouths.
The old chicken soup remedy that aunts and grandmothers swear by is actually good advice. Research shows that homemade chicken soup is the best, and if you can handle it, the very best thing for fighting the flu is to boil some chicken thoroughly and then drink the water once it’s cooled down. There is something in that water that works very well at fighting the flu.
Dehydration can worsen flu symptoms, so make sure to drink plenty of fluids, fruit juices or water are the best choices.
Taking ibuprofen (motrin, advil, etc) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) will help alleviate muscle aches and lower any fever.
Of course if your symptoms persist for over one week, going to the hospital is a necessity. For more information on fighting the flu log on to www.webmd.com or try Standford or Berkeley hospital web sites.