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It's Fall…..don't fall into a Flu trap or any other medical misstep

It's Fall…..don't fall into a Flu trap or any other medical misstep for that matter. Are you up to date on your vaccinations? There are many preventable diseases that can cause people to have long term health effects, unnecessary pain, hospitalizations, medical costs and even cause death.

Depending on your age and health condition you may have a higher susceptibility to getting sick. The great Benjamin Franklin has been quoted saying, "An ounce of prevention is a worth a pound of cure." It may be a good time to talk with your health care provider about what vaccinations or boosters you may need.

As adults, here are a few that you may want to think about:

Influenza - Flu season is just around the corner. This past year, 2014-2015, saw the highest hospitalization rate for those 65 and older in recent history. As people get older the immune system is not as able to fight off the disease. The flu can also be quite dangerous for those with compromised immune systems such as those with chronic health conditions. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, suggests that everyone six months and older to get a flu vaccination with some exceptions. Many people have differing opinions on the flu shot. Do what you feel is best for you and your family.

Shingles - Each year over 1 million people in the United States develop shingles. And if you think that shingles isn't worth the cost of the vaccine, I would talk to someone who has had to suffer through shingles, they would probably tell you different. Shingles can be quite painful.

Tetanus - It wasn't until I cut my finger two years ago I even thought about the last time I had a tetanus shot. I was definitely no longer covered by the tetanus/diphtheria shot (Td) I was required to have back in school. Thinking back, when was the last time you had a booster? The booster is only good for ten years.

There are others that may be suggested by your health care provider depending on your age and health condition. One example that is commonly suggested is the pneumococcal vaccine for those with asthma or COPD since individuals with conditions that affect the lungs are much more susceptible to pneumonia. Others diseases you may want to think about Meningococcal, Hepatitis A & B, and the Measles to name a few depending on your health, career, and where you work.

The CDC has some great charts and resources available on their website for more in-depth information on which immunizations and vaccines are suggested by ages and health conditions. You could use these as a conversation starter with your doctor or you could just bring the topic up at your next appointment. As always, discuss this with your doctor based on your past and current health and together you can decide what is the best for your health.

Even if you think you are healthy and you don't feel that you are at risk for any of these, it doesn't take much to run ourselves down. It just takes a little extra stress for our immune systems to be more vulnerable to catching the flu, for the shingles to develop or for any other numerous diseases to attack our body.

Here are some resources on vaccinations: