Originally created 11/07/96

Simple flu shot can help save money, lives

The best treatment for the flu is preventing it by getting vaccinated. But if you missed your shot or you are one of the 20-or-so percent who get the flu despite vaccination, here are some ways to soothe the symptoms. They also work for the common cold.

  • To soothe a sore throat, suck on hard candy or gargle with warm salt water.
  • To loosen phlegm, drink eight to 10 glasses of liquid (non-alcoholic) a day.
  • Have some soup. Researchers now believe chicken stock eases cold symptoms.
  • Use over-the-counter cold medicines sparingly. They can't cure a cold and they might exacerbate it by drying out the secretions that rid your body of invading viruses.
  • Although October is considered the most effective time to get vaccinated, you can still ward off this season's bug if you get a flu shot now. Call your local health department or family physician for shot availability and price. Private physicians charge about $20 for the shot, and the Richmond County Health Department charges a maximum of $10, based on ability to pay. Call the health department at 667-4281 for shot times and locations.

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