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    It Is Not Too Late

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | December 5th, 2021

    It Is Not Too Late

    Three weeks before Thanksgiving, my daughter called me to tell me that she tested positive for the flu. She was having a sore throat and was coughing. She told me that she felt exhausted. I asked her whether she had gotten the flu vaccine. She stated that she was planning to but had not gotten around to it. I told her to make sure that she starts the antiviral medication, Tamiflu so that she could get better quickly. I told her to keep herself well hydrated and rest. She began to feel better within 48 hours. I spoke to her this past weekend and asked whether she took her flu vaccine and she responded yes.

    National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is being observed from December 5 – 11. This week serves as a reminder that it is not too late to get the flu vaccine if you are 6 months and older.  Getting the flu vaccine every year is the best way to prevent the flu. According to the CDC, flu vaccines are the only vaccines that protect against the flu and are proven to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death. If you have diabetes, severe obesity, heart disease, asthma, any lung problem, elderly or pregnant, you are at increased risk for getting the flu.

    Here are the three actions to fight flu:

    1. Get yourself and your family vaccinated. If you are looking for a place to get the vaccine, please check here. You can get the flu vaccine and the COVID vaccine at the same time. The flu vaccine does not make you get the flu. Please know that it will take two weeks after getting the vaccine to be protected.
    2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wipe down surfaces with disinfectant. If you are sick, do not go to work.
    3. If you do get the flu, call your doctor immediately. Ask about antiviral medication for the flu. When your doctor prescribes these medications, take them as directed. The medication will make the illness milder and shorten the time that you are sick.

    The experts are predicting that this may be a bad flu season. I was shocked that my daughter got it so early in the flu season. I cannot force anyone to take the vaccine, but at least I can share the information. For more information, click here.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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