Washignton, DC - In order to keep women and their families flu-free this holiday season, the not-for-profit National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC) recently launched a Flu Blog on their award-winning Web site, fmxhosting.com/drupal635. The Flu Blog features weekly postings on the latest flu news, tips for preventing and treating the virus, and short features on flu-related science and history.
"People want to enjoy the company of family and friends during this time of year," said Audrey Sheppard, president and CEO of NWHRC. "Our new Flu Blog arms them with the information they need to help protect themselves and their loved ones from starting the New Year battling the flu."
Information within the Flu Blog currently includes:
How to tell the difference between cold and flu
How the flu vaccine works
How antiviral medication works and how it can help you avoid the flu, or reduce the duration of illness if you get the flu
Foods you can eat to help prevent the flu
Understanding who is at risk for flu
What to do about the flu if you're pregnant
Do we need to prepare for a flu pandemic
Flu season usually heats up in December and can last as long as May, but it typically peaks between late December and early March. A recently-published study conducted by Harvard researchers and published in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal found that airline travel has a significant effect on the spread of influenza, suggesting that holiday travel may be the key event in determining how quickly flu spreads.
As the flu starts to spread this season, getting vaccinated is the first line of defense. While the best time to get vaccinated is October and November, the vaccine protects you no matter when you get it during the season. In addition to vaccination, there are several simple common-sense things that can be done to help prevent the spread of the flu virus in general, including covering your mouth and washing your hands.
If you are allergic to eggs or cannot get vaccinated, talk to your health care provider about antiviral medication. Antivirals can help shorten the duration of the illness if you get the flu, or prevent the virus if you've been exposed to it. Antivirals should be taken within 12 to 48 hours of the first flu symptom and/or exposure to the virus.
To visit the Flu Blog, log onto http://healthywomen.org/resources/flublog. The Flu Blog is funded by a contribution from Roche. In addition to the Flu Blog, the site now features updated information at the Flu/Cold category under the Health Topics A-Z section and allows users to sign up for the Flu & the Family E-Newsletter.