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Avoid Influenza This Season – Get a Flu Shot

Avoid Influenza This Season – Get a Flu Shot

The flu season is upon us and there will be many people either trying to fight the flu or ignoring it. Ignoring the flu is not a good idea as it is a dangerous disease. Between the years 1979 and 2001 there were more then two hundred thousand people hospitalized with the flu or its complications each year. And between the years 1990 and 1999 about thirty six thousand people succumbed to the disease each year. The disease is most likely to attack the senior community.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the best thing to do to ward off the flu is to have a flu shot every year. They suggest that anyone six months or older should have a flu vaccination.

If you feel tired and sluggish, your muscles ache, you have a headache and feel nauseous and feverish; you may have the flu. Physicians will no doubt recommend plenty of bed rest, and a nutritious but light diet along with the flu vaccination, especially if you live in large metropolitan areas such as New York City.

Influenza, most commonly known as the flu, is an upper respiratory infection that causes illness and in many cases complications. The flu virus most often attacks children and seniors. The flu vaccination is the best way to prevent contracting influenza.

Since the introduction of the pandemic H1N1 virus (the swine flu) the flu shots that were administered had to be done in two parts. However, to make it easier, this year’s flu shots will have the protection against H1N1 virus included. This year’s flu vaccine will guard against two other flu viruses for which separate injection had to be given as well.

The flu vaccine is available between September and November each year and should be taken each year. The reason to get your flu shot every year is because the virus mutates at a very fast rate, and by the end of a given season it effect diminishes.

In order to know what strains of flu virus will be most prevalent in any given year, health officials gather information from all over the world, and the vaccines are manufactured based on their findings. The flu shot is most effective during the first six months.

During the flu season it is a good idea to stay away from people that are hacking and sneezing, as they may be either coming down with the flu or have it. It is not known how long the flu virus can stay alive outside of the host body, but it has been somewhat determined that it could be as much as forty eight hours. It is therefore, a good idea to stay away from food that is open (buffets), and to keep your hands thoroughly washed, especially if you have been in public places where items could be touched by many people, and definitely, get your flu shot.