As I write I am coughing and sniffling my way through my first cold of the season.  Since my daughter started school in 2010 I have been exposed to a whole variety of new viruses - especially this time of year.  Speaking of viruses, there's another kind out there that can make the common cold look like a walk in the park.  The Flu!

The flu is bad enough all on its own, but kids with Crohn's and colitis should take it even a bit more seriously because the flu virus can stimulate the immune system and that can cause a flare.  One way to take control and help prevent that from happening is to get protected against the flu early in the season.

I noticed just the other day that my local pharmacy has put up their flu shot sign - which means the vaccine is available.  The point:  add 'flu shot' to your list of questions for your next visit to the doctor (if that happens to be soon), or call up and schedule an appointment to get your flu shot today.  Getting protected against the flu may help keep you in remission.

Keep in mind: if you are taking medications that block your immune system (such as: prednisone, azathioprine, 6MP, Imuran Remicade, Humira, methotrexate and others - ask your doctor to be sure) you will want to get the killed vaccine (the shot), not the live vaccine (the nasal spray).

You can learn more about the flu shot by reading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2012-2013 Influenza Vaccine information statement.


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