By Helen Troncoso | 10/29/2012 - 17:00
The sound of sneezing, coughing and runny noses means it’s officially flu season. The flu (influenza) is a contagious respiratory illness affecting your nose, throat and lungs. It’s caused by a different virus than the common cold, and while they share similar symptoms, the flu often lasts longer, can worsen chronic conditions, and can even cause death. The best way to prevent the flu is through vaccination, which is available as an injection or nasal spray.
When should you get the flu shot?
By Mariela Rosario | 10/14/2008 - 12:55
There’s tons of suspicion out there when it comes to vaccines, from worries that they will infect recipients with the very diseases they are meant to inoculate against, to concerns that they cause autism in children. But there’s one vaccine that all medical workers agree on as a necessity for certain high-risk groups: the flu shot. In any given year, your chances of catching this nasty bug range from 1 in 20 to 1 in 5. And it lands more than 200,000 people in hospital bed—and kills about 36,000 folks. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself.