The Flu is VERY contagious. Also known as Influenza, this respiratory system infection mainly targets the nose, throat, and lungs. For centuries, the flu has caused numerous pandemics throughout the world and despite great advancement in medicine, is still a significant health concern even up to this day.
It can be transmitted through droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze by touching contaminated surfaces. It can affect people of all ages but is particularly dangerous for young children, elderly individuals, and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of Influenza include fever, aching muscles, chills, headache, dry, persistent cough, stuffy nose, sore throat, eye pain, tiredness, and etc.
Although seeming very harmless, complications are not completely out of the picture. The flu can cause serious illnesses namely pneumonia, bronchitis, flare-ups and etc., if left untreated. Prevention measures such as vaccination and good hygiene practices like frequent hand washing are crucial in controlling the spread of the flu. Treatment options include antiviral medications that can reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of illness.
Here are 3 Reasons Why You Should Get the Flu Shot:
- The Flu can be DEADLY – Even though the Flu is considered as a minor inconvenience for a lot of people, it can be really fatal for some. This can be applicable to those who already have weak immune systems, the elderly, children, and pregnant women, who are all at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu. Said complications include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections. In severe cases, the flu can lead to hospitalization or even death.
- It will NOT make you sick – A lot of people don’t get the shot because of the common misconception that they will get sick immediately after. It is important for us to understand that when getting a vaccine, included in the shot itself is a tiny amount of the flu virus, which is important in the body’s production of antibodies, and it would take about 2 weeks for what has been injected to start doing its job. With that, getting sick is not associated with getting the flu shot, you may get sick, but probably from a different virus. You still can get the flu after you’ve had the flu shot but it won’t be to the magnitude and as if you had not gotten shot.
- Dodge Heart Attacks – Getting a flu shot can improve your chances of not having a heart attack or stroke within the next year. The study found that those who had been diagnosed with influenza were 45% less likely to have a heart attack than those who did not contract the virus. The reason for this phenomenon is still unclear, but some researchers speculate that it may be due to an immune response triggered by the flu virus. When our bodies fight off an infection like influenza, it produces cytokines and other chemicals that can help reduce inflammation in our blood vessels. This reduction in inflammation can lower our risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.
In conclusion, flu is a significant public health concern that affects millions of people every year. Prevention through vaccination and good hygiene practices are crucial in reducing its spread. Early treatment can also help alleviate symptoms and prevent complications from arising. The flu shot is a crucial tool in preventing the spread of influenza. The importance of getting vaccinated against the flu cannot be overstated, as it not only protects individuals but also helps to prevent the spread of the virus within communities. Get jabbed now!
Dr. Kre Johnson is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician
Brownstone BWell: Brownstone Healthcare has partnered with the City of Birmingham to offer primary care services to the employees of the City of Birmingham for $0 copayment. This partnership is for preventative services & screenings and sick visits. We partner with your current primary care physician and our goal is to keep you out of the ER and urgent care. We do not share your information with the City of Birmingham. We uphold HIPPA and professional standards. You can visit us at our downtown location 1700 5th Ave N Birmingham, AL 35203 or Trussville: 4643 Camp Coleman Road #117 Trussville, AL 35173 205-202-5650 call for your appointment today.
Other Resources: Influenza (flu)