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    The Flu Vaccine and More

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | December 3rd, 2023

    The Flu Vaccine and More

    I can never encourage anyone to take the flu vaccine until I have taken it. I got my vaccine a few weeks ago. The mistake people make is to think by taking the vaccine, you will not get sick. You can get sick, but it will not be that bad. I love the theme for National Influenza Vaccination Week –  A Flu Vaccine can take Flu from WILD to mild.

    It is estimated that the flu killed over 52,000 people during the last flu season. The flu vaccine is important for everyone, but some people are at high risk of developing complications related to the flu – they include:

    • Children younger than five years old
    • Adults 65 years of age and older
    • Pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum)
    • Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
    • American Indians and Alaska Natives
    • People who have chronic medical conditions, including – Asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, Sickle cell disease, diabetes, kidney failure, liver disorders, cancer, HIV or AIDS, extreme obesity
    •  

    How do you protect yourself from the flu?

    1. GET THE FLU VACCINE – Please click here for frequently asked questions regarding the flu vaccine for the 2023-24 season.
    2. Stay away from people who are sick with the flu.
    3. Wash your hands often – if soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It should contain at least 60% alcohol.
    4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth – germs spread when you feel something contaminated and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Wipe down with disinfectant items many people use – computers and telephones, for example.
    5. Get your rest – it is essential, especially during this time, to get enough sleep.
    6. Exercise regularly.
    7. Manage your stress.
    8. Scrape your tongue– see the previous blog titled Add Tongue Scraping to your Oral Hygiene Routine.
    9. Eat a balanced, nutritious diet, including foods rich in vitamin C and zinc.
    10. If an antiviral medication is prescribed, take it as directed.

    There is a new vaccine that has come out specifically for pregnant women. It is the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine. RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be severe. Infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV and need hospitalization. There is a vaccine for older adults starting at age 60 and older. There is a vaccine for pregnant women to protect their baby when the baby is born. The vaccine is from Pfizer and is called Abrysvo. Abrysvo is the only RSV vaccine recommended during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and will be 32 weeks, 0 days to 36 weeks, 6 days, during September through January, then you should consider getting Abrysvo to protect your baby from RSV. Talk with your physician.

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    Secure Your Copy of Sincerely, Your Gynecologist by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.
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    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.
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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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