McFarland Clinic

What to do About the Flu?

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September 29, 2011

Protect Yourself from the Flu

Flu cases have been confirmed in Iowa. Getting vaccinated can prevent you and your family from catching the flu.
 
Seasonal Flu
 
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that can cause serious harm to children and older adults. Symptoms – which include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches and fatigue – can range from mild to severe. Every year around five to 20 percent of the American population gets the flu, with more than 200,000 people having to be hospitalized from flu complications. Getting vaccinated is the best way to decrease the chance of catching influenza.
 
Everyone Should Get Vaccinated
 
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone ages six months of age and older receive an annual seasonal flu vaccination. Getting a vaccination is very important for certain people at high risk, including:
  • Children younger than five but especially younger than two
  • Adults 65 years of age or older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with chronic medical conditions
In addition, people who live with or care for those at high risk of flu complications should receive a vaccination, including:
  • Healthcare workers
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
  • Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than six months of age
When to Get Vaccinated Against
 
McFarland Clinic now has flu vaccinations available for patients. Vaccination should be done annually to protect from current flu viruses. This year’s vaccination will protect people from H1N1 in addition to two other viruses.
 
Flu Vaccinations at McFarland Clinic
 
Please call to schedule an appointment for a flu vaccination.
  • Ames Adult Medicine – (515) 239-4431 or (515) 239-4432
  • Ames Family Medicine East – (515) 663-8621
  • Ames Family Medicine North – (515) 956-4050
  • Ames Family Medicine West – (515) 663-4892
  • Ames Pediatrics – (515) 239-4404
  • Carroll – (712) 794-1155
  • Eldora – (641) 939-7160
  • Iowa Falls – (641) 648-2586
  • Jefferson – (515) 386-4192
  • Marshalltown – (641) 752-0654
  • Nevada – (515) 382-5471
  • Story City – (515) 733-5191
  • Webster City – (515) 832-6700
Types of Seasonal Flu Vaccine
 
The flu vaccine comes in two forms, the flu shot and the nasal-spray flu vaccine.
 
The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine that contains a killed virus that is given by needle. It is approved for people six months of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
 
The nasal-spray flu vaccine is made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu. This form of vaccine is approved for healthy people ages two to 49 and who are not pregnant. However if you care for someone with a severely weakened immune system, then you should receive the flu shot.
 
Stop Germs
 
Taking everyday preventive actions can further protect you from getting the flu:
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • If you get the flu, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; germs spread this way

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