Doctors' Notes

Waging War Against The Flu

Credit: Thinkstock

Welcome to Doctors’ Notes, our newest contribution from Urban Health correspondents and husband and wife physicians Dr. Rob and Dr. Karla Robinson.  The dynamic duo will be fielding questions about health, as it relates to African Americans.  Please feel free to send them questions via digitalpitches@ebony.comWe promise to keep it anonymous. 


Yes ‘tis the season to be sneezing.  Flu season is upon us once again, and with the flu outbreaks we have seen in recent years, we should be more concerned than ever.  Of particular concern is the fact that the African American community is at high risk for serious complications from the flu.  Make sure you are armed with the facts to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu this year.

Watch our video below and test your flu knowledge:

Urban HouseCall Flu Season

Are you at risk?

Those most at risk for flu complications include people who are prone to infection such as children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those whose immune systems are suppressed due to chronic illness (i.e. asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and patients undergoing chemo-therapy).  Therefore, if you come in contact with anyone in one of these groups, you need to take to proper precautions to protect yourself.  That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone be vaccinated for influenza, starting as young as 6 months old.

Just remember that prevention is key!  Flu season typically lasts from November until April, so it’s certainly not too late to protect yourself with the flu vaccine.  Not only that, there are also things that we can all do to help decrease the spread of the flu.

Remember these tips when navigating flu season this year:

* Wash Your Hands. The best way to prevent the spread of disease is by hand washing.  This is the most effective way to prevent the transmission from one person to another.

* Sneeze In The Sleeve. Coughing and sneezing should be done in tissues or in the bend of your arm to prevent sending a spray of germs into the atmosphere.  It is also recommended that you wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose to prevent the spread of infection.

* Stay Home.  If you happen to get sick, don’t try and win the social butterfly or employee of the month award.  During this time, you should be seeking plenty of rest.  It’s important in the healing process and helps to prevent the spread of infection.

It’s a health thing…we’ve got to understand!

About the Doctors:

Dr. Karla and Dr. Rob are the founders of Urban Housecall Magazine and host the Urban Housecall Radio Show.  For more from the doctors, visit their website at, like them on Facebook UrbanHousecallMagazine, and follow them on Twitter @urbanhousecall!