Before the flu season kicks in to high gear, consider having your family vaccinated against the virus. The American Lung Association has established a new Web site that allows you to easily find a health-care provider who is giving flu shots this season.
The flu season generally runs from November through March. Symptoms include high fever (102º to 104º Fahrenheit), pronounced fatigue and weakness, body aches, coughing and chest discomfort. The 2003-’04 flu season was particularly dangerous, resulting in the deaths of 152 children from complications of the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Of those fatalities, 41 percent were children under the age of 2.
This year, the CDC recommends flu shots for the following populations:
• children and adults with heart, respiratory or immune disorders;
• healthy babies and toddlers between ages 6 months and 24 months;
• pregnant women;
• people over the age of 50; and
• people who live with, work with or come in frequent contact with any of the above populations.
Visit the American Lung Association’s Web site at www.findaflushot.com/lungusa/. Enter your zip code, preferred traveling distance and the time you would like to get vaccinated, and a list of providers will be supplied. The site also offers information about the flu and the kinds of vaccines being offered this year.