Avoid serious illness, get the flu shot
LAUGHLIN — Of all the scary things that can happen in October, the flu may be the worst.
It’s that time of year again and health officials recommend everyone get the flu shot.
“Get the shot,” said Dr. Rick Morgan, of River View Wellness Center. “Wash your hands.”
This year’s shot does seem to be making patients’ arms a bit more sore than usual, said Morgan.
But it can save lives and so it is worth getting, he continued.
“Plan to rest afterward because you may have a mild reaction,” said Morgan.
Morgan said most people don’t have the same impression of the flu shot as they used to when it comes to the reaction.
Some of that has to do with a different method for the flu shot.
“They don’t use a live virus anymore,” said Morgan. “They used to give people the real flu only weakened.”
Now what happens is the flu shot is only a part of the flu strain, he said. The body learns to recognize that strain and destroy it. When that happens, that piece of the flu goes away and the body builds immunity, he added.
“Last year was one of the most deadly seasons,” said Morgon. “Patients should get the shot so they don’t become part of that statistic.”
The virus can mutate, he said. But by getting the shot every year, a patient builds up a library of immunity, he continued.
As always, certain vulnerable groups are specifically recommended to get the shot. Morgan said patients who fit into extremes ― age, weight, smokers, are some of the examples of groups of people who may be more prone to the flu and should get the shot.
Morgan also made another recommendation. Patients should run humidifiers on a regular basis to help keep mucus from getting into the lungs, he said.
“Run it nightly, wash it weekly,” said Morgan. “Chicken soup doesn’t fight the flu like everyone thinks.”
There is also a difference in getting the regular flu and pandemic flues, such as bird, swine and avian. Those strains are not usually seasonal flues, said Morgan.
The Veterans Health Administration is also getting the word out about the flu shot.
Enrolled veterans can get their flu shots at either the Pahrump Community Based Outpatient Clinic or the Master Chief Petty Officer Jesse Dean VA Clinic in Laughlin from noon to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Anyone who happens to be visiting the Las Vegas area and needs a flu shot can do so during special Saturday clinics from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following dates and locations:
• Oct. 13, Northwest Primary Care Clinic, 3968 N. Rancho Drive in Las Vegas;
• Oct. 20, Southeast Primary Care Clinic, 1020 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson;
• Oct. 27, Northeast Primary Care Clinic, 4461 E. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas;
• Nov. 3, Southwest Primary Care Clinic, 7235 S. Buffalo Drive, Las Vegas
• Nov. 10, North Las Vegas VA Medical Center, 6900 N. Pecos Road, North Las Vegas.
“Don’t fear the shot,” said Morgan. “You may be sore but it beats being sick, dehydrated, full of I.Vs, possibly dying.”