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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Tackling the Flu


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Get Your FREE Flu Shot from VA

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The seasonal flu is a virus that attacks your nose, throat and lungs. It can make you sick for a week or more. It spreads quickly from person to person. Luckily, it is fast, safe and easy to prevent the flu.

Be aware

Learn the symptoms of the flu. They include fever, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, chest discomfort, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, and/or a sore throat.

Most cases of the flu do not normally require a visit to the doctor. If you have flu symptoms, you should:

  • Stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours
  • Drink plenty of fluid
  • Rest
  • Take a fever reducer, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen

Stop the spread

The flu spreads quickly from person to person. To slow the spread of the flu:

  • Keep surfaces clean. This includes telephones, light switches, countertops, door knobs, keyboards, and lV remotes.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Use tissues. If you don't have a tissue, cover your face with your upper sleeve.

Always wash your hands before:

Eating, preparing or serving food
Caring for someone who is sick
Touching your face, mouth, or eyes

And after:

Using the bathroom
Caring for someone who is sick
Blowing your nose
Coughing or sneezing

Get Your FREE Flu Shot from VA

Getting a flu shot is the best way NOT to get the flu. We offer FREE flu shots to eligible Veterans at all of our facilities.  Ask your provider.

You've ever had a bad reaction to a flu vaccine.

Side effects are rare, but can occur. The most common side effect of the flu vaccine is a sore arm. Some people could also have cold-like symptoms. See your healthcare provider if side effects persist or are severe.

Talk to your doctor before you get a flu vaccine if:

You are allergic to chicken eggs
You've ever had a back reaction to a flu vaccine
You are moderately or severely ill, with a fever!