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It's not too late to get a flu shot; risk of exposure can extend to April or May

State Epidemiologist Kristy Bradley chatted with readers and answered questions about flu symptoms and vaccines Monday.

by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: January 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm •  Published: January 7, 2013

Most vaccines that are currently distributed today contain no mercury-containing preservatives, or just a tiny amount of Thimersol that is considered safe. There are influenza vaccines that are Thimerosol-free, so you can request one of those brands of flu vaccine if you are still concerned.

What are the most common flu-like symptoms?

Good question because there are several different respiratory viruses that spread in a community at the same time that influenza is circulating! Influenza generally hits you much more quickly and with much more than a punch than cold viruses. With influenza, most affected persons will have a sudden onset of fever (100- 102 degrees or higher), headache, sore throat and extreme body aches. This rapidly progresses to cough, fever, chills and feeling like you were hit by a truck. Most people who have the flu will not be able to go to work or school, whereas with a cold, people feel sort of miserable with cough, congestion and post-nasal drip, but they still have the energy to do other things.

Read the entire chat recap here.

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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