Protect Yourself Against the Flu

(YOUNGSTOWN– December 12, 2016) Travel and social events increase during the holidays, giving the flu virus more opportunities to spread. ValleyCare Health System of Ohio encourages you to get vaccinated to protect yourself and others from the flu. While the number of flu cases currently is low, these numbers generally increase at this time of year.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness. It can cause mild to severe illness and serious cases can result in hospitalization or death.

“It is crucial for everyone over 6 months of age to get vaccinated,” said Internal Medicine Physician Basem N. Doss, MD. “The flu shot is not guaranteed to prevent the flu, but minimizes your chances of contracting the virus. If you do get the flu, the shot will help minimize the symptoms. It is especially important for young children, adults over the age of 65, and individuals who have a high risk of developing serious complications to get vaccinated.”

Individuals who should not get the vaccine are children younger than 6 months, people who have previously had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine and those with a severe egg allergy. Individuals who have a moderate-to-severe illness, with or without a fever, should wait until they are recovered.

“The flu vaccine cannot cause the flu and a very small percentage of people experience serious side effects from the vaccine,” said Dr. Doss. “Some may experience mild side effects such as soreness and redness of the injection site and low grade fever and aches. These usually happen after vaccination and are short lived.”

Besides receiving the flu vaccine there are some additional healthy habits that can help prevent you from getting sick. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day, keep your hands away from your face and stay away from sick individuals. If you are sick, stay at home and give yourself time to recover.

Basem N. Doss, MD is a ValleyCare Medical Group of Ohio physician and a member of the medical staff at Northside Medical Center. For more information about the flu shot or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Doss, call 330-270-1545. Same day appointments are often available.

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