INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana State Medical Association is urging residents to consider getting a seasonal flu shot.
According to the ISMA, an estimated 36,000 Americans die annually from the flu. The flu is a viral infection of the breathing tubes and lungs and is easily spread from one person to another through sneezing or coughing. Symptoms can last two to seven days and may include:
*Headaches, chills and dry cough,
* Body aches,
* Nasal congestion, and
* Sore throat.
The symptoms, according to ISMA, can last a week. Physicians and other health professionals know that certain people should consider a flu shot. They include:
* People age 50 or older,
*Persons of any age with chronic deseases of the heart, lung or kidneys, diabetes compromised immune systems, severe forms of anemia or asthma,
* Residents of nursing homes and other facilities where patients with chronic medical conditions live,
* Pregnant women,
*Health care professionals, volunteers and household contacts who care for high-risk patients, and
* Children age 6 months up to 19-years-old.
The flu season is generally from November to April, peaking between January and March.
Getting a flu shot does not necessarily mean you won't get the flu. It does mean, however, it won't be as severe. A vaccination can prevent the flu 70-90 percent of the time.
Flu-like symptoms can be treated by:
*Taking non-aspirin, fever-reducing medications, and
* Drinking lots of fluids.