Flu or influenza is a highly common health implication, which is becoming more and more widespread with each passing season. Common symptoms of flu include illness of mild to severe intensity, headache, fatigue, cough, etc. Lack of timely medical care can lead to serious complications, like hospitalization or even death. Therefore, it is important to adopt a proactive approach and get a flu shot to stay protected from the flu and avoid spreading it to others.
A flu shot is considered to be the safest and most effective option for treating flu, as it is generally free from any side effects. Getting a flu shot every year to treat influenza is essential as the flu virus often changes and a vaccine provides protection against virus for only about a year. The vaccines are updated to match the changes in the virus, so that optimal protection can be provided to people.
How flu spreads?
Being a contagious respiratory illness, flu can spread from a suffering person to others very easily. It is believed by most experts that the droplets developed during sneezing, coughing or talking can get inhaled by the person standing nearby and thus spread the flu. Besides this, getting in direct contact with an object or surface already touched by a person suffering from flu can also lead to this virus infection. For avoiding this, it is suggested to maintain sufficient distance from someone who is already affected by flu. Washing hands often with water and soap and avoiding the sharing of dinner plates is also considered to avoid the flu from spreading.
Why get a flu shot?
Although the types of flu viruses are many, a flu shot offers protection against the most common three and four viruses. The viruses present in the vaccine lead to the development of antibodies, which in turn keep the body protected against viral infection. Along with reducing illness, flu vaccination also prevents the risk of hospitalization and deaths caused by flu. Moreover, the frequency of missed school and work days, as well as doctors’ visits can also be reduced.
Staying protected with the flu shot
As per the recommendations of CDC, everyone who is of or above the age of six months should get flu vaccinations each year, as it is the first step in staying safe from flu viruses. Especially those people who are at higher risk of suffering from flu related complications should not miss getting a flu shot as it can decrease the chances of severe illness. People who are at high risk include pregnant women, young children or those who are already suffering from chronic health conditions, like diabetes, asthma, lung and heart diseases. The flu shot is especially crucial for those who fall in the categories mentioned below:
• Elders above 50 years of age
• Children of age above six months
• Pregnant women
• People with weak immune system
• People with severe medical conditions
• People who work or live in care centers and nursing homes
• Health care personnel
The flu vaccinations is made available at clinics, health departments and doctor’s clinics at the onset of flu season, which generally starts from early October. If anyone is suffering from flu or living with anyone who is at the risk of developing this viral infection should get treated at the earliest by getting a flu shot. Any delay in getting a flu shot can not only exaggerate their condition, but also include the risk of spreading the infection to others, thus increasing the number of people suffering from flu.
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