What's Going Around: Influenza

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

August 22, 2011

Dr. Michael Sty of Spring Creek Family Medicine says influenza is what's going around this week, but there are things you can do to prevent it.

Dr. Sty recommends everyone over the age of six months get a flu shot, especially high priority people like those 50 and older, those living in a nursing home, people with chronic medical illnesses and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant during the flu season.

When it comes to flu shots there are many different vaccines available. The standard is made of inactivated virus particles and injected into the muscle. There is also a nasal spray vaccination known as "flu-mist." Another option includes an intradermal vaccine that is injected deeper into the layer of skin.

Pregnant women trying to protect themselves against the flu can get a thimerosal-free version.

While Dr. Sty recommends an influenza vaccination, he says there are a few side effects that you should look out for. Those include mild injection site soreness, low grade fever, body aches and congestion.

However, most symptoms develop within hours of the vaccination and last less than 24 hours.

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