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importance of flu shot

Overview

Most of us have experienced getting flu. The typical flu season occurs from fall to early spring. Although there are some lucky individuals who can get through the season flu-free, there are a few people that are unfortunate to have to be sneezing and coughing during this season.

Influenza or commonly known as flu is not something that one should take for granted as it is not just your typical cold. As a matter of fact, every year, the flu sickens millions and hospitalizes thousands of people. The worst part is, it also causes thousands of deaths. Furthermore, children younger than 5 years are more susceptible to get flu-related serious complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that so far this season, there have been at least 22 million flu illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths from flu. This number is alarming. So, what can you do to protect yourself and your family against the flu?

The Season of Flu

Every year, the United States experiences epidemics of seasonal flu. This is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus that infects the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. People who have the flu sometimes have symptoms such as sore throat, cough, runny nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue, and fever. Flu can cause serious health complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma. However, this dangerous and contagious illness is also preventable. One way of doing so is by getting a flu shot.

Flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. The length and severity of the epidemic vary every year. Flu activity begins to increase in October and November and usually peaks between December and February.

Why You Should Get a Flu Shot

Because flu viruses evolve quickly, you need to get vaccinated every year. Despite what other people think, flu vaccines actually have a good safety record. It can even be given to children who are 6 months and older. Flu vaccines have side effects, however, they usually just go away on their own after a few days. If you’re planning to get one this year, here are the benefits of flu shot:

  • It is the best way to protect yourself from the flu.

    Flu viruses travel through the air in droplets when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes. It is possible that you will be able to inhale the droplets directly or get it from the objects around you. Although washing your hands or staying away from people who are sick can actually help, however, it would be inconvenient for you to wash your hands every minute of the day or not deal with people for the whole flu season. However, getting a flu shot reduces the risk of flu illness and actually decreases the probability of hospitalization. It is important to remember that even though getting the flu shot will lower the likelihood of you getting sick, there’s still a good chance that you will contract the flu. However, the symptoms that you will experience will be milder than if you weren’t vaccinated at all.

  • It prevents spreading the flu to your family and friends.

    As mentioned earlier, the flu virus travels through the air whether by coughing, sneezing, or talking. People with the flu can spread the virus to the people around them up to about 6 feet away. If you’re already infected, your symptoms can begin about two days after the virus has entered your body. One interesting fact is that a person may pass the flu even before knowing that he already has the illness. Some people who are infected can sometimes not experience flu symptoms at all. Because of this, it is important that you get yourself vaccinated not just to protect yourself, but also protect your loved ones.

  • Flu shots can help reduce the high risk of developing serious flu complications.

    Most people who have flu will experience mild illness and will just recover in less than two weeks. However, there are also some people who will likely get flu complications that can lead to hospitalization or worse, death. Additionally, flu can also worsen chronic health problems. However, flu-related complications can be reduced by vaccination. That is why getting the flu shot is critical in staying healthy this flu season.

Final Thoughts

You need to protect yourself against the flu virus this season. One way of protecting yourself against the flu is through vaccination. If you have any questions about this year’s flu shot, you can schedule a meeting in Brazos Valley Allergy & Asthma Clinics. We provide professional allergy, asthma, and immunology services to clients at numerous locations in the Brazos Valley region.

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