Tis the Season………..Who needs a flu shot?

During the course of my working day, a variable number of Chest X-rays will come across my workstation.
The extreme cold weather has forced many people in to being confined to enclosed spaces and subsequently resulted in a surge in upper respiratory infections.
Consequently there has been a significant increase in the number of chest X-rays cases being ordered by family and emergency physicians.

Tis the flu season and many of us have succumbed to these nasty viruses.

Most people I know have been infected and discussions with friends and clients have raised the question………..Who should get the flu shot?

I am always curious to hear the myriad of reasons why people convince themselves one way or another.

Here is what the experts say…………….

The flu is spread by a highly infectious respiratory virus which is transmitted when the infected person sneezes or coughs. The contagious droplets can travel as much as six feet. Consequently you may inhale them without even realizing it. Contaminated sources such as door handles are another way of picking up these nasty germs. Most people end up with fever, chills, fatigue and a sore throat.

For people with chronic medical conditions, those who are immunocompromised or the elderly, getting infected with the flu can be lethal.
One of the major obstacles in fighting the flu virus is that they can quickly develop resistance to drugs and vaccines. This is why the flu shot has to be recreated every year.
Pneumonia can develop secondary to respiratory viruses such as the flu virus or secondary to a bacteria. Pneumonia can result in up to 28,500 deaths per year in the US.

Risk Factors:
Smokers.
Crowded environments.
Children under 2 and people over age 65 are at highest risk.
Cancer patients, people with neurological, heart, lung disease and immune disorders are at highest risk.

What are the recommendations for vaccination?
The seasonal flu shot contains killed flu virus and is recommended for healthy people older than 50, people with chronic medical conditions, nursing home residents, health care workers and care givers.
The pneumococcal vaccine is recommended at the age of 65 and for those individuals who have chronic organ disease or are immunocompromised.

Check with your health care provider and ask if you should be getting a flu shot.

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