HEALTH Q&A: Flu shots

Q.: Should I get a flu shot?

A.: Yes, absolutely. The real flu, called influenza, lasts several days with high fever, body aches, sore throat (without white spots) and a dry cough. Upon recovery, you may continue to cough for three to four weeks. Rarely, patients can develop life-threatening flu virus pneumonia. Elderly people or anyone with lung and heart disorders and diabetes may develop bacterial pneumonia as a complication of the flu. Asthmatics may suffer severe asthma attacks. The flu injected vaccine contains "killed" virus, the nasal mist vaccine contains live virus. The benefits of the vaccine outweigh the rare complications, even in most egg-allergic patients.

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