Its flu season again and the peak is in February so its important to get your shot soon. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. Young children, pregnant women and elderly people are the most susceptible and it takes 1-2 weeks after you get your shot for you to become immune because it’s no laughing matter.
Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During recent flu seasons, between 80% and 90% of flu related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older.
New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses. Because flu viruses evolve so quickly, last year’s vaccine may not protect you from this year’s viruses.
According to the Mayo Clinic, There are two types of flu vaccine delivery you can get.
- A shot. A flu shot contains an inactivated vaccine made of killed virus. Because the viruses in this vaccine are killed (inactivated), the shot won’t cause you to get the flu, but it will enable your body to develop the antibodies necessary to ward off influenza viruses.
- A nasal spray. The nasal spray vaccine consists of a low dose of live, but weakened, flu viruses and is approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who aren’t pregnant. The vaccine doesn’t cause the flu, but it does prompt an immune response in your nose and upper airways, as well as throughout your body.
Regardless if you do or don’t get a flu shot, you can take steps to help protect yourself from the flu and other viruses. Good hygiene is the best defense against contagious illnesses.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water.
- Use an alcohol-based sanitizer on your hands if soap and water aren’t available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible.
- Avoid crowds when the flu is most prevalent in your area.
- Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet, and manage your stress.
Go Team Medely