Marla Ahlgrimm | Seasonal Flu Prevention

Marla AhgrimmThe most recent flu season was one of the worst in history, says Marla Ahlgrimm. And while the spread may not be stopped completely, there are a few things to keep in mind before the next flu season, which typically begins in October of each year.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, the flu is a type of virus that affects the respiratory system. Often, the throat, nose, and lungs are affected. While most influenza outbreaks cause mild to moderate symptoms, it can cause more severe issues in the very young, the very old, and those with a compromised immune system.

The flu – and all other airborne viruses – are spread primarily when someone coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth, says Marla Ahlgrimm. These actions, along with talking, create microscopic water droplets that are breathed in by others in close vicinity to the infected person. It should be noted that the flu does not typically cause symptoms until 24 to 48 hours after contraction, so it can be spread before an individual knows he or she is even ill.

Marla Ahlgrimm reports, although the flu cannot be completely prevented, its spread can be slowed so fewer people are affected. Flu prevention starts with the flu shot. Likewise, people should avoid work and school if they have any symptoms of illness. Frequent handwashing is also effective. Many public and private school systems may also be closed to reduce the number of cases among children.

Unfortunately, many people are cautious about receiving the flu shot each year. However, Marla Ahlgrimm explains side effects are typically very mild and may include soreness at the injection site and a low-grade fever. Serious allergic reactions are exceedingly rare. The flu vaccine is not a guarantee that an individual will not contract the flu; while not 100% effective but can reduce symptoms.

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