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5 Tips To Fend Off The Flu

Written on January 22, 2013 at 9:45 am , by

Bacteria, beware! Practice good personal, household and food hygiene with EPA disinfectant products to prevent catching the virus. (Photo courtesy of Ben Northover)

“The flu” has turned into quite the buzzword lately with reports of a record high season and shot shortages. A few of our favorite stars even spoke of feeling under the weather last week at the Golden Globes while others were sidelined from the event altogether. “Meryl Streep is not here tonight,” funny gal Amy Poehler announced. “She has the flu—and I hear she’s amazing in it.”

The epidemic is no laughing matter though with new cases of the widespread illness popping up every day across 47 states. We spoke with Dr. Phillip M. Tierno, Jr., New York University’s Director of Clinical Macrobiology and Diagnostic Immunology, about the virus and the most common germ-infested areas. Don’t stock up on soup and tissues just yet! Here’s all you need to know about battling the bug:

  1. Inject immunity—if you haven’t already. “A flu shot is probably one of the best things you can do to offset getting sick,” said Dr. Tierno, especially since up to 60 million people will get the flu annually, depending on vaccines! Find a vaccine near you with the HealthMap Vaccine Finder.
  2. Break the chain of transmission. According to Dr. Tierno, 80% of all infections are spread through contact—both direct (sharing a spoon with a sickie) and indirect (pressing an infected elevator button then rubbing your eye). Since viruses can live on surfaces for months, it is crucial to keep commonly touched spots sanitary. Think outside your typical “wash your hands before you eat” type of cleanliness in terms of personal hygiene. For example, keep clean and dirty clothing in separate baskets. Germs from dirty clothes can transfer onto freshly washed laundry—ew, gross! Read more

Flu Season is Already in Full Force. Here’s How to Protect Yourself

Written on December 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm , by

Getting a flu shot means a lot less sick days, and becoming your boss’ favorite employee. (Photo courtesy Peter Ardito)

An early—and potentially bad—flu season is already underway, the CDC reported last week. But it’s not too late to get a flu shot, says Kevin Ronneberg, M.D., associate medical director at Target, where he oversees guest care at the company’s clinics and pharmacies. We asked Dr. Ronneberg about the newer, less painful flu shot, how the vaccine affects workouts and more:
FITNESS: The CDC recommends that all Americans older than six months get an annual flu vaccine. Why do you recommend it for fit, healthy young women?

Dr. Ronneberg: Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu. Getting vaccinated reduces your chance of becoming infected with the flu virus—it can also help to protect the people you love who may not be able to get vaccinated.

 

All Target pharmacies (find one) now offer the “micro-needle” flu shot. Is it actually less painful?

The intradermal needle is 90 percent smaller than a standard flu shot needle and it is also preservative-free. Because the intradermal needle is smaller in size, it is inserted directly under the skin rather than into the muscle. This results in less muscle ache immediately following injection. Essentially, it’s as ouch-free as a shot can be.

We offer various options for flu shots—including the traditional flu vaccine. Our pharmacists are also available to help determine which type of vaccine is right for you. Read more