The stories and going abouts of the Clark's family life!! Kids, marriage, and life give you so much to talk about and sometimes unforgetable funny stories!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Healthy Thursday- Flu Talk

Thursday's are going to be dedicated to health issues.  It is good to get the information out and it will allow me to use my medical they don't wither and go away.  I love being a nurse and teaching about medical stuff, so this will be a great outlet for me.  If I start to get too medical sounding let me know.  I want to make it easy to read so that all can understand the info.

The subject for today is the Flu Season.  Since the flu season is here and there are things that I think everyone should know.  The first that I am sure not everyone knows, is that there is only one flu vaccine this year.  You will not need to get two since the H1N1 is included in this years strain.  The only reason that there were two separate vaccines last year was because it takes over 6mnths to grow the vaccine( on eggs by the way) so there was no way for them to include the H1N1 in the same seasonal flu vaccine in time.  Which, if you work in the medical field is awesome.  The ordering and making sure that those who were high risk got the vaccine was a little crazy!

So, what is the flu? 
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.  You can get a mild case to a severe case, that can even lead to death. ( a couple actors have passed from it, scary right). 

What are the symptoms?
  • cough
  • fever-not everyone gets this when they have the flu
  • body aches/muscle aches
  • runny nose
  • headaches
  • fatigue/feeling tired
  • some may vomit or have diarrhea, common in children
The above are also common for the common cold, so it is hard to detect.  You know your family and if their symptoms seem more than that of the common cold or a virus, contact their doctor's office and discuss your concerns with them.  It is better to be safe. 

How is it spread?
Studies show that it is spread by droplets/spit, from when you cough, sneeze, or talk.  With kids they slobber and sneeze all over the place.  It is good manners to keep your kids away from public playing areas if they seem like they might be getting a cold, to be on the safe side.  Of course, this is my personal opinion and I apologize if this offends others.  One can be contagious for up to 7 days after showing any symptoms, especially children.  So, keep that in mind when you are considering taking that possible sick little one to a public playground or family function.  Again, sorry if I offend anyone!

How does one prevent the flu?
There is only one reliable way to prevent and that is getting the flu vaccine.  This is a yearly vaccine that you can get wither through injection or in a nasal spray.  It is your choice as to which one to get.

Who is at high risk?
  •  Children under the age of 5, especially those under the age of 2
  • Pregnant
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Healthcare workers
  • Daycare providers
  • Those with other medical conditions
    • Lung Disease
    • Asthma
    • Heart Disease
    • Blood Disorder
    • Liver Disease
    • Diabetes
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Obesity
Who should not get vaccinated?
  • Those allergic to chicken eggs(since this is what the vaccine grows on)
  • Children under the age of 6mnths, it is not approved for them
  • If you have reacted to the vaccine in the past
  • Those with Guillian-Barr's, a disease where your body damages it's own nerve cells, that has developed within 6wks of getting the vaccine previously.
  • Those with severe symptoms or fever should wait till the symptoms are gone
There is some great information about the flu and all you need to know on the CDC website, I love their website.  it is easy to use and it gives you good information that doesn't totally freak you out.  it is just the facts.  They also have a great Parents Guide to the Flu, check it out.

I hope that this information was helpful.  Please let me know what you think.  Take care and here is to hoping that our little ones stay as healthy as they can this Flu Season!!


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  3. Just got my flu shot 2 weeks ago! Especially important now, since I just developed asthma within the last year! Great post, lady!