Influenza and the Flu shot
Every year in the fall is flu season. Influenza is the virus that causes the flu. Influenza is a rapidly mutating virus that is constantly changes its strains. Each year, vaccine manufacturers make either a trivalent (3 strains) or a quadrivalent (4 strains) vaccine that contain strains that have caused outbreaks in a specific region (ie: North America). Signs and symptoms of the flu include: muscle aches, cold sweats, coughing, runny nose and fever. The muscle aches and cold sweats are quite severe, and are the tell tale signs that a person has the flu and not the common cold.
The flu shot is recommended for all people, but especially for immunocompromised patients such as children, seniors and patients with preexisting chronic diseases such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes. Immunocompromised patients are considered a high risk for hospitalization or even death, so they should all get the influenza vaccine yearly. Healthy people should also get the flu shot as an illness won’t necessarily cause hospitalization or death, but can cause the person to miss days or even weeks of work subsequently affecting their bottom line (not to mention being in contact with high risk patients). Other things you can do to prevent the flu are to wash your hands regularly and avoid people who have the flu. This is why it is recommended that you get your flu shot every year to stay ahead of the curve.
Because flu shots are an educated guess based on nearby outbreaks, some years will be more effective than others at preventing influenza infections. Nonetheless, getting the flu shot is one of the best ways to prevent the flu. If you do get the flu, stay at home, get some rest, drink plenty of fluids and have some home made vegetable soup! You can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help keep your fever down.
At Longevity Compounding Pharmacy, we administer the flu shots. There is no appointment necessary as all of our pharmacists are trained in administering the flu shot. If you do have any questions or concerns regarding influenza or the flu shot, please contact the Longevity Compounding Pharmacy at 604-544-7760, or pay us a visit in person at 711 Columbia Street New Westminster, BC. We look forward to hearing from you!
Aman Grewal (Owner/Pharmacist)