Flu season occurs during the fall and winter months, between October and February. It is possible to get the flu during other times of the year, however, it is not as common. The flu season peaks during the winter, particular December, therefore, it is important that you get the flu vaccine now.
Symptoms of the Flu
The symptoms of the flu can keep you bedridden for a week or longer. The symptoms of the flu include:
- High fever (101 or higher)
- Extreme fatigue
- Muscle aches and pains
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Dry, unproductive cough
- Loss of appetite
In some cases, the flu can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia, which can land you in the hospital. This is especially true in the elderly and people who have conditions and illness that have compromised their immune systems.
Types of Flu Vaccines
Your best defense against the flu is to be vaccinated every year. If you were vaccinated last year, it won’t protect you from the flu this year. This is because the flu vaccine only lasts for so long. Also, each year, the flu strain is different, therefore, you would need a different type of vaccine. There are a few types of flu vaccines available. The one that you choose would depend on your own situation.
- Standard dose: The standard dose vaccine is recommended for people between 6 months and 64 years old. It is administered using a needle injection.
- High dose: The high dose vaccine is recommended for people 65 years of age or older. Also, people with compromised immune systems should go with the high dose vaccine. This vaccine is also administered using a needle.
- Flu-Mist: The Flu-Mist vaccine is recommended for people between 2 and 49 years old. This vaccine is not given via injection like the others. It is given through a spray that goes up your nose.
Why Do People Avoid Getting the Flu Shot?
There are some people who avoid getting the flu shot because they are worried about the side effects associated with the vaccine. The side effects are often very mild and they include:
- Redness and soreness at the injection site
- A fever that lasts for less than 24 hours
- Slight fatigue
There are some people who avoid getting the flu shot because they are worried that it will give them the flu. There is no active virus in the standard dose or the high dose vaccines, therefore, you cannot get the flu by getting vaccinated. The Flu-Mist does contain a live virus. However, it isn’t enough to cause you to contract the flu.
The flu is a very contagious disease. It can be spread in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread if you touch something that a person who has the flu has recently touched. There are ways to prevent catching the flu such as washing your hands frequently and avoiding people you know are sick. The best way to keep from getting the flu is to get the flu vaccination every year at the beginning of flu season.