Lifestyle

Keep updated on the swine flu

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Even though talk about the swine flu (H1N1) may have died down, it doesn’t mean the flu is taking a break. Just as with a regular cold or flu, preparedness is a must. Along with following these common tips, a flu vaccine should also be considered.

There is no vaccine available as of now, but they are expected to have one available this fall. Every state is going to develop a different plan in order to distribute the vaccine. It will be available in a variety of places such as vaccination clinics organized by local health departments, healthcare providers, schools, and other groups, such as pharmacies and workplaces. If you’re interested in getting vaccinated look out for emails, flyers, and any other kind of updates.

over the counter may be the answer until the vaccine is available( Photo by welshwitch36 via Flickr)

over the counter may be the answer until the vaccine is available (Photo by 'welshwitch36' via Flickr)

Many studies have indicated that two vaccine shots may be needed in order to combat the swine flu. Recent findings show that only one shot would be enough to fight the flu.

Australian company CSL Ltd. published results that between 75 percent and 96 percent of vaccinated people should be protected by one dose. So, for flu shot fans (I’m guessing few and far between) that means only two shots will be needed this season, instead of three: one for the regular seasonal flu and one for the H1N1 virus.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends taking Oseltamivir or Zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with the swine flu. Oseltamivir is sold under the name Tamiflu is an antiviral drug that slows the spread of the flu. Zanamivir is also an antiviral drug and both help to prevent the virus from reproducing. However, an oral dosage of Zanamivir is ineffective, limiting the drug to only be inhaled. So anyone with asthma problems might want to find another way to fight the swine flu. Of course, always speak to a doctor to determine the best way to go.

Read on about staying flu-free

If you have any kind of flu symptoms (like the ones listed on a DayQuil bottle), keep an eye on the situation. It can be hard to tell the difference between having the seasonal flu and the swine flu. Many of the symptoms are similar and the only way to determine if it is swine flu is by going to get checked out. It is important to know, especially if symptoms continue. The swine flu is highly contagious; piggy smooches are a no-no.

Don’t let fear of the flu slow you down. Wash your hands, drink your fluids, and take care of yourself. Be aware, stay healthy, and enjoy this fall and winter season.

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