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Everyone should get a flu shot

Posted by Chris in Tampa on 1/29/2018, 9:40 pm

It's not too late.

The flu is really bad this year. While a flu shot is no guarantee you won't get the flu, you should definitely get one. Older people should get a more powerful version. Older people should also have a pneumonia shot. Even if you still get the flu, it might not be as bad if you had the shot. The flu shot doesn't give you the live virus. If you get any symptoms after the flu shot, it's your body's immune system working so that you can defend against the virus if you later happen to get exposed to the virus.

It takes about two weeks for the flu shot before it is most effective. With insurance, you can probably get it free. While usually it's easy to get at a drug store for example, some places may not have it. Apparently there's still plenty of supply, but if a place didn't order enough there might be a delay until they get more. You can try somewhere else.

You should be careful going anywhere. Use disinfectant wipes at the supermarket on a shopping cart for example. Even when signing those machines at the register, don't touch your face after that. You don't need someone to cough on you to get sick. Just breathing can give it to you. You don't have to be very close either, it can float in the air for a bit.

I got sick earlier in January from shaking someone's hand. I'm better now. It was not from the flu, it was something bacterial. I hate being rude and then going to wash my hands, but I'm going to do that in the future before I then touch my face or eat something. It was a party where there was food so I should have washed my hands after shaking their hand before eating again. They weren't sure if they were getting sick at the time and they had intended to avoid touching anyone. It was the next day before they knew for certain they were sick. (and in the unlikely case they read this, it's not a guarantee I got it from them, I had just not been anywhere else)

I think this flu season might be worse in part for young people because they haven't been exposed to this strain before. I seem to remember hearing that somewhere. But anyone can get it. An extended family member in another state who is in their 90s is in the ICU right now with the flu and now has pneumonia in both lungs.

Another family member, also in another different state from the family member in the ICU, also got sick with the flu but they have since recovered, although I think they should have went to the hospital too at the peak. That family member had the flu shot, but the one in the ICU did not.

One thing I wanted to mention is about how fast something like this can develop. Some kids have died in as little as 48 hours. When I got sick in a three hour period my temperature went from under 100 to over 103. It was 4:30pm and I decided to go to the doctor even though my temperature was under 100. Earlier in the day it had been 101 when I got up. I started taking something I got from the drug store to reduce my temperature. It was working somewhat. I went a little longer before taking another fever reducer and my temperature was climbing back up to the mid 99 range. But I decided to go to the doctor anyway even though they closed at 5. They were running late too and by the time I got out of the office with a prescription it was 6:30pm and my temperature was 102. By the time I got the prescription and took the first pill, it was 103.2. It took taking that first powerful antibiotic, taking 1 to 2 pills of fever reducers every 2 hours, alternating between two different types, and spending four hours in a cold bath to finally bring it down to normal. The first two hours in a cold bath, drinking cold water, my temperature was bouncing from 102.5 to 103. At about 1 in the morning, my temperature was back down to normal, 98.5, and I could tell the antibiotic was starting to work. However, I started backing off the fever reducers late the next day, and my temperature was back to approaching 102. I spent a lot of days in bed. It took quite awhile, probably nearly a week before I stopped taking the fever reducers. I kept taking them as long as my temperature kept getting above 100. And of course I took the antibiotic for the full 10 days which is really important, especially since it was kind of slow to work. I was sick once before like this, eleven years ago when I started to develop some early signs of pneumonia, and after taking the first antibiotic my temperature came down to normal within hours and never went up again, without taking any fever reducers.

But I wanted to point out something about taking fever reducers. A child that died recently was taking them. He went from a high fever to a normal temperature. His parents thought he was okay. Then he died. A fever reducer can mask the problem. You may think because you don't have a temperature, you're getting better. If you don't go to the doctor and get a prescription to treat the infection, or something for a virus (don't know what works for that), you mask the problem. Having a high fever is bad, but you have to make sure you treat the underlying issue. That's kind of why I tried backing off the fever reducers. If I hadn't went to the doctor, which by going a half hour before they closed you can tell I was really hesitant to go, things could have been more serious. (I would have had to gone to an urgent care clinic or ER)

Sometimes on the news they say if things don't get better over several days, then maybe see a doctor. But then you have some people dying within 48 hours. Sometimes hours matter. You don't take a chance when you get sick. You should really do what you can to reduce the chance of getting sick in the first place.


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Everyone should get a flu shot - Chris in Tampa, 1/29/2018, 9:40 pm

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