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There are a variety of reasons why a person can fall sick. A good number of these illnesses cannot be prevented though a person may take general precautions. Having said that, in the case of influenza, it can be prevented to a large extent and it does not seem all that smart to avoid taking easy precautions when one has an option, right?
Every year, thousands of people die from influenza, which is so unfortunate because an annual shot can reduce that number by almost 60 percent. So what exactly makes a flu shot or vaccine work? As a result of the vaccine, after about two weeks or so, antibodies begin to develop in the body. These antibodies help fight off infection, specifically the kind that is targeted by the vaccine. It is important to get vaccinated for this flu on an annual basis.
Choosing the right flu shot
Considering the great number of options there are when it comes to flu vaccines, which are the ones to be injected? It is a good idea to get the opinion of a doctor to see which one to choose. This is because the choice is dependent on a variety of factors, which a medical professional would be able to assess appropriately. Note that it is important not to use the nasal spray version of the vaccine as the medical authorities have recently found that it is not as effective a method as it once was.
When should you get it?
Flu season does vary across the world, but in the US, it starts in about October and goes on till May. During this time, the flu viruses are a lot more active. When one gets a flu shot, it is this period that one needs to look out for. So, it is better to get vaccinated in late September or the start of October, so that there is minimal unprotected exposure to the viruses.
Who is it for?
It is to be kept in mind that every individual who is older than six months should be vaccinated. While it is said that getting a vaccine shot year after year reduces its effectiveness, it is still important to do so. This is because each year, the shot is altered to reflect the biggest virus threats in that year. There might be few side effects of the flu vaccine such as redness in the injected area, soreness or swelling. However, as long as one gets a flu shot in time, it is almost a given that there will be almost no time spent ‘down with the flu’. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.
Hello doctor, My question is how to avoid flu and other infection related to fever causing through pain.?
I am suffering from fever and cold cough, body pain feeling weakness so which medicine can I take for this disease.
I have cough and cold problems about 30 days, I have always run water from my nose, please suggest me and solve my problem, and tell me how medicine use?
The dengue fever season which is usually synonymous with the monsoons in India is showing no signs of abating. The numbers are much higher in cities like Delhi and Mumbai, whose already overworked hospitals and civic bodies are struggling to contain the ailment and treat the ill.
Dr Arvind Aggarwal, senior consultant, internal medicine at the Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, Delhi has something to say about the disease, why it won?t go away and how people should pay more attention to the onset of the fever:
Is there any significant change in the disease trend this year? Are the elderly or people with lower immunity likelier to suffer from dengue?
This year we are seeing a large number of healthy young adults, especially teenagers suffering from the ailment. The reason for this is that they are more likely to travel or stay outdoors as compared to aged people or immune compromised people. Normally, every family tries to keep their homes free of mosquitoes and maintain hygiene when people go out, they are likelier to be bitten by dengue-carrying mosquitoes. (Read: Dengue fever: Symptoms, medication and prevention)
What are the symptoms of dengue fever? How can people recognise it early?
The most glaring symptoms are high-grade fever, chills, severe headache and pain behind the eyes (retro-orbital pain), severe headaches and body aches. After the second day of onset of the aforementioned symptoms, they may even start vomiting or feel extremely restless. In many patients we can diagnose the disease in a day itself, but in some cases people stay home when they have fever and self-medicate. Only when it becomes very severe and they are not able to bear the headaches and retro-orbital pain do they come to a doctor.
It is important that we recognise the possibility of a patient possibly suffering from dengue. Even doctors should take these complaints seriously. This is important because if it is diagnosed early the complications are much lower and can be handled effectively. (Read: Can papaya leaves help cure dengue?)
Should all patients presenting with high fever be aggressively tested for dengue?
Yes, it is essential that physicians have a high suspicion of dengue fever, especially in these two months when it is epidemic.
What are the tests that are done to detect the presence of dengue?
A test called NS1 (a test for the presence of the viral antigen) and other tests for the antibodies against the dengue virus can be done. The NS1 test is more accurate on the first seven days of the infection. If the patient comes to us after seven days, then we perform serological tests, where we test for the presence of theantibodies against the virus. Since these antibodies are produced by the body only after five to seven days, they are more effective. The most important thing here is that this antigen can be tested at any point during the infection, unlike in malaria where the test yields proper results only while the patient is having fever. Of course, the tests give better results at the peak of the disease.
What complications can dengue fever lead to?
Patients may suffer from very low blood pressure and very low platelet count. The patient?s also likely to bleed from various orifices like the nose and mouth and they might even notice blood in their urine. When it gets worse, the patient is likely to suffer from dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.
Hi, I'm 32 years old female of height 5.4, Weight 75 kgs, had fever three days back still I have running nose and cough. I do not have fever but I have bitter taste buds killing me and I feel weak I do not feel active. Please help me with medicine.
I am having with headache from 3 day's and with cold, cough and I am having with red eyes from 3 day's. so, what should I do.
What are the symptoms so cold cough and dry cough in winter season, what are its preventive methods.
I am getting cold and cough I have taken medicine but then also its getting more and more so please give me some tips.
I'm 37 yrs old. I have seasonal allergy from 20 years. In winter severe cold n congestion. N cold sensation in feet n hands where as in summer feet are heat sensitive. Kindly advice.
Cold and flu are common problems which spans across all seasons and affects all age groups, kids and elders alike. However a flu or a viral infection leaves you very weak and vulnerable. A good routine of exercise is the easiest way to keep such infections at bay.
Regular exercise plays an important role in building your immunity against a flu infection. If you exercise for a minimum of 2.5 hours every week, your chances of contracting a flu infection are drastically reduced by almost 10 percent. However it is important that you exercise moderately and on a regular basis to protect your body against the flu.
An effective exercise schedule would involve 150 minutes of moderate exercise such as brisk walking, gardening etc every week. This can also be substituted by 75 minutes/week of vigorous exercise which includes running, playing a sport, aerobics etc. And 2 days for muscle strengthening exercises. Incorporate any one of these regimes in your daily schedule and follow them without fail, as they are the most fool-proof method to prepare your body for the fight against the flu virus.
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