Contact: Marion Ciciarelli
As flu season approaches, Oswego Health’s Chief Medical Officer Renato Mandanas, MD, encourages residents to get their yearly flu shot.
Dr. Mandanas recommends that individuals ages six months and older receive the flu vaccine each year. Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk for serious flu complications, which includes young children, pregnant women, those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, as well as residents age 65 years and older.
Vaccination is also important for people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for serious flu complications.
Dr. Mandanas points out that flu shots do not cause the flu. The flu vaccine is made with killed viruses. However, individuals may occasionally experience mild side effects from the shot, including soreness where the shot is given, fever and fatigue. These effects usually last just one or two days.
According to Dr. Mandanas, several steps can be taken to avoid catching or spreading the flu. Wash your hands often to avoid spreading germs. Eat well, exercise and get plenty of sleep to keep the immune system strong. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief when you cough or sneeze. Use antibacterial disinfectant to regularly clean surfaces that may spread the infection.
It may be time to visit your physician, Dr. Mandanas said, if you believe you have flu symptoms that seem to be getting worse or last a long time. Those symptoms include nausea, vomiting, high fever, chest pain, chills or a cough with thick, yellow-green mucus.
For more information on the flu and its prevention, please visit Oswego Health’s website at oswegohealth.org.