A Prescription for Health: Flu Season
It’s that magical time of year when everyone prepares for the
holidays. We’ve filled up on turkey, we decorate our tree, hang ourstockings; it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Unfortunately, it isn’t just the holiday season, it’s also flu season. If you’re one of the millions of Americans to receive the influenza vaccine, you don’t have too much to worry about. If you haven’t been vaccinated, what’s your excuse?
I went 23 years without being vaccinated against the flu. Very luckily for me, I never had the flu. My first year working in a healthcare environment, I realized my luck would probably run out. Now, I am a firm believer in the flu shot! Before agreeing to being vaccinated, I spent some time researching the flu and the flu shot. If you haven’t been vaccinated, check out this information before putting off the shot for another day…
The flu shot can actually give you the flu, right?
Absolutely not. The injected influenza vaccine contains dead influenza virus. The nasal mist alternative, FluMist, does contain the live virus but it has been scientifically engineered so that you won’t experience flu-like symptoms.
I was vaccinated last year, surely I don’t need a flu shot now.
Not so fast! According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu shot given during one season may not provide adequate protection through later seasons.
The flu isn’t that serious, I’m healthy and strong.
Did you know that complications from the flu include dehydration, bacterial pneumonia, sinus problems and ear infections? The flu can be life threatening. In fact, the flu kills between 3,000 and 49,000 people annually. Quit making excuses!
I had the flu last week, so there are no chances of getting it again anytime soon!
Wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately, there’s more than one flu type. Last week’s flu could have been influenza Type A. Type B could be just one co-worker’s sneeze away!
I’m not exposed to cold weather, no flu for me!
The weather has nothing to do with the flu. The only connection research has found is cold weather causes people to stay indoors more, thus being in closer proximity to other people causing germs to spread easily.
I have flu symptoms but no fever. I’m just going to rest and stay hydrated.
Throw on your sneakers and head to the doctor. Research has shown plenty of people test positive for the flu without a fever. There are two antiviral drugs shown to be highly effective in reducing the amount of time you’re sick and make you less contagious to others. Going to the doctor sooner rather than later is your best bet. The antiviral drugs are most beneficial when taken within 48 hours of your first flu symptoms.
I hate to admit it, but I’m still not crazy about this flu shot thing. However, I love the holidays with my family and I’m not willing to let the flu join us! Whatever your reasons for getting vaccinated may be, don’t put it off another day. Protect yourself, your loved ones and your co-workers. Have a healthy, happy holiday season!