Prevent & Fight Influenza

2014Jan23_GenPharma_AThe United States is well into the 2013-14 flu season, which typically begins in October and ends in May. Whether you realize it or not, you probably know someone that has been infected with the influenza virus this year. The unpleasant symptoms, which include a high temperature, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, cough, cold sweats and shivers can last about a week. The characteristic symptoms are often followed by tiredness and a general unwell feeling for several additional weeks.

In the US alone, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die because of the flu each year. The peak of influenza season in North America is February, so now is the time to raise awareness about flu fighting measures. Here are 3 ways to stop the flu virus in its tracks.

#1: Take preventative measures to stop the spread of germs on a daily basis.

Wash your hands often with warm, soapy water and avoid close contact with sick people. If you have been sick or others have been sick around you, take steps to disinfect common items like door handles, telephones and light switches. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and be sure to cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you do get sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying home until you have been free of fever for at least 24 hours.

#2: Get an influenza vaccination.

According to the CDC, a flu vaccine is the best defense against flu-like viruses. While various strains of the flu virus exist, the vaccine protects against the three most common viruses. Everyone 6 months or older should get vaccinated for the flu each year, especially high risk individuals like healthcare workers and pregnant women.

#3: Take antiviral drugs for the flu if your doctor prescribes them.

If you do come down with a case of the flu, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications to make the illness milder and shorter. These medications are not available over-the-counter, but they can reduce the chances of complications and make you feel better, faster.

Many over-the-counter medications exist to lessen the symptoms associated with cold and flu. Please feel free to visit [company_short] for all of your healthcare needs. We invite you to speak with a pharmacy staff member for personalized recommendations about the products that are best for you.

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