This health video will focus on how to reduce the spread of the flu and how to give yourself better protection against it.
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James King: Many people are flat on their back for up to a week with muscle pains and fever and feeling crummy, it is a big deal. Speaker: This year we have heard a lot about preparing for the threat of a new flu strain and while few people have been infected with Avian or bird flu, this winter as many as 50 million Americans will get other more common forms. If you think it's not serious, you are wrong. According to the CDC more than 200,000 people are hospitalized ever year from flu complications, 36,000 died even though the seasons is already in full gear it can last till spring. So it's good to know what you can do to fight the flu. Speaker: I have had the flu and it made me feel like a train hit me. Speaker: A lot of body aches, joint aches. Speaker: Has been in bed most of the time ever after I am getting up. Speaker: The evidence is everywhere from the drugs on the nightstand to the empty tissue box, flu season is here. Carolyn Buxton Bridges: 10-20% of the US population can get infected with influenza every year. James King: It's one of the biggest killers of mankind believe it or not. Speaker: Flu can strike anyone but its most common victims are the very young, people aged 65 and older, healthcare workers and people with chronic health conditions. Speaker: Hi! This feels terrible. Speaker: Although, no one enjoys having a flu, many people would rather take their chances getting it than get a shot of protection. Speaker: A couple of days after getting the flu shot, I came down with the worse flu I have ever had. Speaker: But experts say the connection is just coincidence. Carolyn Buxton Bridges: They may blame that on the vaccine but it did not cause it. Speaker: And if adults are reluctant to get a shot, kids are even harder to convince. Robin McDaniel: Kids started the crying and the kicking and you have to start bribing and -- strong arm and you are going to go. James King: We know that schools are the big place that children are put together, they transmit flu to themselves and then take it home to the community. Speaker: Now needle phobs can have no fears. A nasal vaccine called FluMist offers a painless option for patients between the ages of 5 and 49. James King: It's a noble way of giving a vaccine and it's given at the point where you get the flu in your nose. Speaker: Flu germs enter the body through the nose and begin to multiply. By applying the vaccine directly at the point of infection it can take out the virus before it has a chance to spread. James King: It sets up a little infection in your nose and your body protects you against that and makes antibodies in your nose and throat against the flu. Speaker: FluMist is actually made from a live virus but it's weakened so it won't make you sick. James King: It won't grow at body temperature so it will grow in your nose which is cooler than your the rest of your body, but it will turn off as it gets further down. Speaker: A study by the national institutes of health found the nasal vaccine was 85% affective in preventing flu in adults and almost 90% affective in children. James King: If you can interrupt flu in the schools you might have a big shot at interrupting it in the community. Speaker: For procrastinators and people allergic to the vaccine, some antiviral drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza can help even after the flu starts. While the CDC says these two drugs remain affective to other antivirals, amantadine and rimantadine are no longer helpful against these years’ strain and should not be prescribed. As a patient you need to make sure you get drugs that can work. Carolyn Buxton Bridges: The early you would start those the more likely they are to decrease the symptoms and the number of days that you are feeling ill. Speaker: Of course the trick is recognizing that it is the flu and not just a cold. Carolyn Buxton Bridges: Sometimes it's very difficult to tell the difference actually. The classic symptoms is sudden onset as fears, chills, bo