97°F
weather icon Clear

Vaccine good defense against flu

For many people, the seasonal flu is a mild illness. But sometimes, the flu can be serious or even deadly.

The flu is linked to serious infections like pneumonia and can make existing health problems worse. It also can lead to hospitalization or death.

The flu is caused by viruses that infect your nose, throat and lungs. It’s easily spread from person to person when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or talks. It’s also possible to get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Symptoms of the flu may include headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, a fever of 100 or higher, and feeling feverish or having chills.

For some people, the flu may also cause vomiting and diarrhea. This is more common in children than adults.

Remember, not everyone with the flu has a fever.

Because the flu spreads easily, when you get a flu vaccine you don’t just protect yourself. You also protect everyone around you. It’s best to get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if you can.

After you get the vaccine, it takes about two weeks for your body to develop protection against the flu. That’s why it’s a good idea to get the vaccine before the flu starts to spread in your community.

If you don’t get the vaccine by the end of October, it’s not too late. Getting the vaccine later can still protect you from the flu. Keep in mind that flu season can last as late as May.

You can get the flu vaccine as a shot or as a nasal spray.

For many people, getting a flu vaccine doesn’t cause any side effects. If it does cause side effects, they are usually mild and begin soon after the vaccine is given. These side effects aren’t the flu. You can’t get the flu from flu vaccines. Side effects from flu vaccines usually last one or two days.

Side effects from the flu shot may include soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, low fever and aches.

Side effects from the nasal spray vaccine may include a runny nose, cough and headache.

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations. You can get a flu vaccine at a doctor’s office, health clinic, pharmacy or your local health department. Your employer may also offer flu vaccines.

Getting a flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting yourself from the flu.

Here are some other things you can do to help protect yourself and others from the flu:

n Stay away from people who are sick with the flu.

n Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitizer).

n Try not to touch your nose, mouth or eyes. This helps keep germs from spreading.

n Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze — whether or not you have the flu. Throw the tissue in the trash.

n Clean surfaces and objects that may have flu germs on them, like doorknobs. Use hot, soapy water or a household cleaner.

n If you have the flu, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. (Your fever should be gone without using a fever-reducing medicine.)

Remember, people with the flu can spread it to others even if they don’t feel sick. Usually, adults with the flu can spread the virus starting the day before they first feel sick — and as many as seven days after they first felt sick. Children may be able to spread the virus for even longer than seven days.

If you get sick with the flu, your doctor may prescribe medicines called antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs can help you feel less sick and shorten the time you are sick. They can also prevent serious flu complications.

If you are at high risk for complications from the flu and you get flu symptoms, it’s important to ask your doctor about antiviral drugs right away. If you need to go to the hospital because of flu complications, doctors may use antiviral drugs to treat you.

Antiviral drugs work best if you start taking them in the first two days after you get sick. But they may still help if you take them later on, especially if you are very sick.

To Your Health is provided by the staff of Boulder City Hospital. For more information, call 702-293-4111, ext. 576, or visit bouldercityhospital.org.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
City gains ownership of hangars

Boulder City is taking ownership of 28 airport hangars after a District Court judge denied a motion and canceled a restraining order prohibiting them from doing so.

Mask mandate heeded

People in Boulder City are adjusting to the recent statewide mandate to wear masks in public places.

School leaders ready to start next year

Local school leaders are confident in the ability of their staff, students and the community to implement the district’s reopening plan, whatever it may be.

Fatal disease for rabbits could change desert landscape

A fatal disease with the potential to change the makeup of the local desert landscape was recently found in Boulder City’s wild rabbit population.

Request for power doors at post office denied

Two years of hard work, 1,500 signatures and countless phone calls later and the Nevadans for the Common Good are no closer to getting power-assisted doors installed at the Boulder City Post Office than they were when they started calling for a change.

Caller’s intuition helps save life

This series of day-in-the-life of stories provides a candid look behind the scenes of the Boulder City police officers who protect and serve Boulder City.

News Briefs, June 25

Six residents, four employees at vets home test positive

‘Thermal injury’ death under investigation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a fatal accident at Boulder Oaks RV Resort.

Parkway renovation ‘substantially’ done

The multimillion dollar renovation of Boulder City Parkway is “substantially finished” with only a few minor items remaining to be done.