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Myths about the Flu Vaccine

Posted on: January 15th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
There are many myths floating around that keep people from getting a flu vaccination.

There are many myths floating around that keep people from getting a flu vaccination.

Although people have been talking about flu season since late October, the virus actually peaks in January and February in the United States. As many as 20% of Americans get sick with the flu each year but there are still many myths and rumors circulating around about this miserable illness. LA Medical believes it is important to make sure you know the truth about the flu virus and what you can do to prevent yourself from catching it.

1. You can catch the flu from the flu shot151

No matter how many times experts debunk this myth; many people refuse to get a flu shot each year. Flu vaccines are made from dead viral particles. Since the virus is not living, it cannot make you sick. The nasal-spray version of the vaccine contains a crippled version of a live virus but it still cannot make you sick. It takes two weeks for your body to form antibodies to the flu vaccine so there is still a chance you will get sick during that time, but don’t blame the shot.

2. The flu causes digestive problems

Although flu symptoms are miserable, gastrointestinal symptoms are rarely included. The stomach flu is a group of viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhea but these viruses are not influenza. Some sufferers do experience nausea and vomiting, however. But if these are your primary symptoms, it is probably not the flu.

3. Young, healthy people don’t need to worry about getting the flu

Influenza is most threatening to children, the elderly, and people with other illnesses. However, generally healthy people can still get the symptoms. For this reason, the CDC recommends that everyone get the shot early in the flu season. Even if you aren’t in the high-risk group of people, the vaccination can stop you from transmitting the illness to more vulnerable people.

Flu season happens every year and chances are you won’t be able to avoid it forever. Protect yourself by getting an annual flu shot. Not only will the vaccine protect you, but also those around you. If you are or are going to be interacting with young children or elderly people, it is important that you get vaccinated as well. LA Medical wants you to stay healthy this flu season and all year long!

Cold and Flu Survival Guide

Posted on: January 13th, 2015 by LAMedicalBlogger
Cold and flu season peaks in January and February. Keep yourself safe with some preventative measures.

Cold and flu season peaks in January and February. Keep yourself safe with some preventative measures.

As we all know, winter is a season running rampant with cold and flu germs. Flu activity typically peaks in January and February so it is important to not only understand how to treat yourself if you get sick, but also how to prevent it! We have a few easy methods you can use to combat germs this month.

Eat more berries – Blueberries and other dark berries help strengthen your immune system and help reduce inflammation. Try to get ½ to 1 cup each day!

Exercise – Walking, biking or jogging can cut the number of colds you get in half. The increased breathing, blood flow, and body temperature that come with moderate activity have been shown to aid the immune system.

Quiet your mind – Research from the University of Wisconsin shows that mindful meditation reduces cold frequency, length, and severity by 33% to 60%. Take a few minutes each day to relax, reflect, and clear your racing mind.

Sleep more – Getting more ZZZs when you are sick increases the activity of proteins to help clear the infection faster. This is also the best way to guarantee a speedy recovery if you do get sick.

Understand your symptoms – Knowing whether you have a cold or the flu can guide your treatment. Common symptoms of the flu are fever, chills, and aches while sneezing, stuffy nose, and sore throat are common symptoms of a cold. You can find out more about the difference between a cold and the flu in our previous blog post Cold vs. Flu.

LA Medical wants you to stay healthy this month and throughout the rest of the year. Washing your hands is the best way to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Remember that flu vaccinations are still available to prevent you and those around you from getting sick.

How to Stay Merry and Bright This Holiday Season

Posted on: December 14th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Holiday gatherings are full of germs. Protect yourself against illness this season.

Holiday gatherings are full of germs. Protect yourself against illness this season.

The holidays are a time of year when you want to be feeling your best. There is nothing worse than being home sick while there is a Christmas party going on! However, these holiday gatherings are also a minefield of germs. There are many ways you can do to stay healthy while you eat, travel and shop this holiday season.

Wipe Things Down

Whether you are hopping on a plane, train, or bus to get home for the holidays, rub down anything you will touch with a disinfectant wipe. Don’t pick up germs that other people may have left behind for you.

Wash Your Hands

Purchase an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, place it in your desk or purse and use it. Germs from your hands are the biggest threat to your health; making doors, rails, and buttons a minefield for germs.

Rest Up

If you run around all day and don’t get a good night’s sleep, you risk getting sick just by wearing down your body’s natural defenses. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who slept at least eight hours nightly were about three times less likely to catch a cold than those who slept  for less than seven.

Stay Hydrated

The lower humidity makes our airways vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Keeping yourself well-hydrated keeps your mucous membranes moist so they can better keep bugs out of our systems.

Manage Stress

Over commitment is the biggest cause of stress during the holiday season. Keep your commitments and your spending in check to save your mind and your wallet. Balance your work and home life with play to keep a positive outlook all winter long.

LA Medical is committed to keeping you and your loved ones healthy. We don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun with friends and family. Take precautions to keep yourself healthy during this germ-filled season and you will thank yourself later.

Cold vs. Flu – We All Lose

Posted on: November 27th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Many individuals confuse cold and flu symptoms. Understanding the differences is important for seeking proper treatment.

Many individuals confuse cold and flu symptoms. Understanding the differences is important for seeking proper treatment.

It’s that dreaded time of year again – cold and flu season. It is estimated that up to 20% of people get the season flu. With a contagious bug like that going around, it is important to take special precautions to guard yourself again illness. Cold and flu symptoms can be very similar which makes it difficult to distinguish between the two. Check out some of the common symptoms for each so you know when it is time to contact your doctor.

Cold Symptoms

  • Sore throat, nasal symptoms, runny nose and congestion along with a cough
  • Fever is uncommon, but a slight fever is possible. Children are more likely to have a fever.
  • Symptoms lasting about a week
  • If symptoms don’t improve in a week, may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics

Flu Symptoms

  • Usually more severe than cold symptoms and come on quickly
  • Sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough
  • Certain flues like swine flu are associated with vomiting and diarrhea

When do I call the doctor?

  • A persistent fever lasting more than 3 days could be bacterial infection
  • Painful swallowing, severe pain could mean strep throat
  • Persistent coughing that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks could be bronchitis and needs to be treated with an antibiotic
  • Persistent congestion and headaches – if you have pain around the eyes and face with thick nasal discharge after a week, may have bacterial infection or sinus infection

Preventing Cold and Flu

The best way to prevent getting sick this flu season is to maintain proper hygiene and precautionary care. Stay away from those who are experiencing cold or flu like symptoms. Wash your hands frequently by rubbing hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. There are also flu vaccines available as well as antiviral medications to help prevent the spread of disease.

Children and the elderly are most at risk for illness throughout this season. LA Medical cares about your loved ones and wants them to stay safe and healthy. We carry a variety of in home products to help you care for them this winter and the rest of the year.