Influenza, or The Flu, is a contagious respiratory infectious disease that frequently spreads around in the fall and winter months, affecting people of all ages. It is an airborne disease that spreads by affected individuals through coughing, sneezing, and sometimes through touching an affected area and then one’s mouth or eyes.
Influenza affects nose, throat, and lungs
The symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, headache, and fatigue, and usually last for about a week. Not all of these symptoms necessarily occur. The virus can spread before symptoms appear by a couple of days. Children and seniors can experience more extreme symptoms, and younger flu sufferers may experience nausea and vomiting. Influenza can lead to complications like pneumonia, sinus and ear infections, and counteract with other conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or respiratory issues, and worsen them.
Ways to reduce getting and spreading the flu include cleanliness and frequently washing hands, avoiding infected individuals, wearing a mask over the mouth and nose, covering the mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing, and getting an annual vaccination. The Flu vaccine is recommended by the World Health Organization for everyone over six months old.
High risk groups for suffering from serious complications should they catch the virus are pregnant women, seniors, children under five, those with serious medical conditions, and healthcare workers.Twice a year, a new version of The Flu vaccine is specifically formulated to fight the evolved version of the virus, since it is constantly changing. Individuals and families can visit their local MEDS Pharmacy or any place in the community with an official flu clinic to receive their shot. These shots may have some side effects, but the benefits and potential protection against infection and spreading the virus among the broader population outweighs any potential downsides.
According to the CDC, the vaccine significantly reduces cases of flu, visits to the doctor, hospitalizations, and deaths every year. Someone who has received their yearly shot can still catch the flu but risk is significantly reduced. Vaccines can also protect those immediately around the immunized individuals.
The flu vaccine may cause fever (5-10% of children), temporary muscle pain, and fatigue. Individuals with severe allergies to eggs or who have had adverse reactions to receiving their shot in previous years should not get vaccinated. The vaccine can also reduce the severity and symptoms of strains of the Flu not included in the annual shot. On average, it takes about 14 days for antibodies to develop, so the vaccine should be taken before flu season begins, around October, or whenever clinics become available. Contact your local pharmacy or doctor’s office to see when the vaccine is available for the current year.
The small minority group who are against vaccinations are basing their opinions on pseudoscience or a complete lack of legitimate, peer-reviewed scientific evidence. The Flu shot is a not a cure for the virus and it does not protect every individual from every single strain of the virus in the environment, but its efficacy and rate of effectiveness in lowering the risk of catching Influenza are relatively high under the complex, evolving nature of the virus. Ask your doctor and pharmacist if you have concerns about the vaccine for yourself or your family member(s).
Article Submitted By Community Writer