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About “the flu”

Your Island Doctor is concerned about your health and wants you to know about “the flu”:

The flu (influenza) season is upon us now, so be aware of a few things to help yourself stay healthy.

How do I know if I am sick?  Often there is sudden onset of cough, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, body aches, chills, fatigue, sometimes nausea and vomiting.  If you take your temperature, it will often be elevated.

How does the flu make me sick?  As suggested by the symptoms above, the flu virus attacks the nose, throat, sometimes lungs, so these organs get sick and cause symptoms.  Your body’s immune system knows you are sick and makes you fatigued, achy, feverish, chilled or nauseated. 

Can the flu cause serious illness? We are sorry to say, “YES!”  Unfortunately, your doctor knows of many people who are hospitalized or become critically ill with the flu each year.  The flu does not play fairly—it can create new serious problems with your heart or lungs or may make your current health problems worse.

What can I do to prevent the flu?  GET A FLU SHOT!  Flu shots are known to reduce the chance of getting the flu or a serious complication of the flu.  The flu shot allows your body’s immune system to “see” a few types of flu virus ahead of time so it can prepare antibodies to fight the virus.  This is not perfect, but it is the best we have.  The United States Government has a large agency called the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) that recommends the flu shot for all healthy persons over 6 months old.

I am concerned about my finances and may not be able to pay for the shot.  Island Doctors provides the shot at no cost.  We also believe this to be less expensive than getting seriously ill.

For more information on this topic and other Island Doctor programs, contact us.