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Fight Flu and Pneumonia: Get Vaccinated!
October 12, 2008
October is here, and fall is starting to settle in. Here in Massachusetts, the leaves have started to turn their brilliant colors, people are getting ready for Halloween, and yes, Christmas decorations have hit the stores. It’s also Columbus Day weekend, a time of year when I dig out my warmer clothes and do some fall cleaning. The squirrels are scurrying around, burying acorns, preparing for what will probably be a long, cold winter. Do you do anything special this time of year?
Symptoms of the flu include:
Make sure you have a sick day plan in place before you get sick; this means that you know what to do with your meal plan and medication when you’re not feeling well. But, as the saying goes, prevention is the best medicine, so get a flu shot every year, wash your hands often (especially before eating), and limit your contact with people who are sick. Encourage your family and people with whom you live to get vaccinated, as well.
Fortunately, the chances of getting pneumonia are greatly reduced as long as you get vaccinated. Unlike the flu vaccine, which is needed every year, you usually only need a Pneumovax once in your lifetime. However, people under the age of 65 who have had a Pneumovax should get another one 5 to 10 years after their first one. Find out if you’ve had a Pneumovax, and if not, talk to your physician about getting one. The pneumonia vaccine is covered by Medicare Part B as well as many other health insurance plans.
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