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Flu shot crucial for New Jersey residents with disabilities

According to a report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it appears that this year's flu season began earlier and may last longer than normal. Accordingly, there are currently 47 states around the country that are reporting widespread flu activity. The flu typically manifests itself in the form of a fever, severe body aches, a headache, a cough, a sore throat and other possible symptoms.

While it is reported that individuals with disabilities are not any more likely to be exposed or infected with the flu than the general population, it can be much more difficult for them to recover from the virus once they do become sick. Further, individuals with disabilities and compromised health are more susceptible to developing complications that could result in hospitalization. According to the CDC, those with neurological conditions are particularly susceptible to having a difficult time regaining health once infected with the flu.

The best way to prevent this is to ensure that all disabled individuals and their caretakers are flu vaccinated. Further, if an individual that is disabled begins showing signs of being sick with the flu, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as symptoms begin showing. There are antiviral prescriptions available which can shorten the duration and severity of the illness. In order for this to be successful, however, the treatment needs to begin in the early stages of flu.

In New Jersey, there are countless individuals that struggle with disabling conditions and illnesses. It is important that these individuals are assisted so that they can remain in the best health possible.

Source: Disability Scoop, "CDC: People With Special Needs Should BE On 'High Alert" For Flu," Michelle Diament, Jan. 14, 2013

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