Greetings to my new blog!  This is the first of what I hope to be many other posts in the future.  I am trying to learn about this program, I have a “WordPress for Dummies” book from the library, and no doubt this will be a work in progress.

It seems that the most pressing questions I have had recently revolve around the flu illness, vaccination, and medicine (Tamiflu) so here are some of my thoughts.

Influenza is the virus that causes this illness.  It is not the same as the stomach flu with vomiting and diarrhea, and this flu typically causes no such problems (except in the very young sometimes).   It can cause a horrific illness often with very bad body aches, headaches, fever to 102 range, and a cough that can be severe.  If that does not sound like fun to you, then get the flu shot which is now available.  True, it may not cover the strain this year or offer complete protection, but the potential benefit makes it worthwhile in my opinion for nearly everyone.

The H1N1 is also influenza, but a different strain and latest mutation and is the called the “swine” flu in the news.  Vaccines for that have recently been approved by the FDA and will (hopefully) soon be available.  It is very unlikely I will have any at my office although we keep inquiring about the availability.  This is a second flu shot that may require a “booster” shot as well.  It looks like single shots may offer enough protection from early studies however.

Tamiflu is a medicine for the illness but has very limited value.  It makes the illness a day or two shorter at best and only when used very early on in the illness.

Prevention otherwise is the key.  If you can’t or will not take the vaccine, try and limit exposure risks.  Avoid anyone with a cough illness when possible as this is an illness easily breathed in from those who are ill.  It is not really by touching anything although good hand washing is always a good idea as well.

If the illness happens, then usual care is best with plenty of fluids, rest and medicines for symptoms.  For more serious illness, a visit here is a good idea of course.

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