First of all: Is it a Cold or the Flu? Click here to find out (lists symptoms for each)
The following requires a visit to your ER:
Call Your Doctor
You usually do not have to call your doctor right away if you have signs of a cold or flu. But you should call your doctor in these situations:
Supporters say that flu shots can greatly lower your chance of getting the flu. The main goal of the influenza vaccine is not to prevent the flu, but to prevent the complications of the flu. If the strains in the shot match the virus you are exposted to, it can prevent disease completely in healthy adults with a robust immune system. But when given to older persons and those with frail immune systems, its principle goal is to reduce severity of symptoms and help prevent complications of the flu, namely pneumonia, hospitalization and death for those who do get the flu.
- The best time to get the shot is from the middle of October to the middle of November, because most people get the flu in the winter. The shot can't cause the flu. But you may feel sore or weak or have a fever for a few days.
- Flu shots are strongly recommended for people 65 or older, nursing home patients, people over 6 months old with health problems, such as asthma, or with long-term diseases, such as HIV or heart disease; children or teen-agers who must often take aspirin; and people who are often around older people or those with health problems.
Talk to your doctor before getting a flu shot if you have certain allergies (especially to eggs), have an illness, such as pneumonia, have a high fever or are pregnant.
However, it is important to realize that the flu shot does not typically confer immunity in the same way other vaccines do. The influenza virus is a wily virus, which is constantly changing, unlike others such as polio or measles which are far more stable. Developing a vaccine for the flu, therefore, is chasing a moving target. Each year's formulation represents the experts' best guess as to what will work.
The effectiveness of flu shots has been called into question by several studies ...
Risks Associated With Flu Shots:
- Emerging evidence suggests that flu shots cause Alzheimer’s disease, most likely as a result of combining mercury with aluminum and formaldehyde.
- Mercury in vaccines has also been shown to be a contributing factor in autism. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. Curiously, the government warns that compact fluorescent lights pose a real health hazard to women and children due to their mercury content. However, they deem mercury in dental fillings and vaccines safe, which doesn't make sense.
- Adverse reactions to the flu vaccine include joint inflammation and arthritis, anaphylactic shock (and other life-threatening allergic reactions), Guillain-Barré syndrome (a paralytic autoimmune disease) and death.
- The FDA alerted doctors and parents to watch for signs of bizarre behavior in children treated with Tamiflu. Tamiflu is approved for treatment of uncomplicated influenza A and B in children 1 year of age or older, as well as for prevention of influenza in people 13 years or older. This drug is linked to 12 deaths in Japanese children since 2000. Click here for more info
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