Have you gotten your flu shot yet? If not, why not? Did you know that getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to avoid getting the flu?
The flu, or influenza, is much worse than just a bad cold. Getting the flu will keep you home from work or school for several days and make you feel terrible. And it spreads easily—through droplets that are expressed when people cough, sneeze, or even talk.
Is the Flu Dangerous?
Most people who get the flu are out of commission for a few days, then start to feel better and are back to normal in about two weeks. However, the flu can cause serious complications.
- Bacterial pneumonia – A lung infection that causes the air sacs in your lungs to fill with fluid, pus, and cellular debris, resulting in difficulty breathing and pain. If it gets serious, it can lead to respiratory failure or death.
- Dehydration – The flu can lead to dehydration from vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. That’s why people with the flu are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids.
- Ear infections – The flu can cause your ears’ Eustachian tube to swell, leading to an infection in the middle ear.
- Sinus infections – When your sinuses get clogged and fill with fluid (from a cold or flu), they create a breeding ground for bacteria—which then causes an infection.
- Worsening of chronic medical conditions – Having the flu can complicate any existing health issues.
And keep this in mind: every year in the United States, the flu sends 200,000 people to the hospital and between 3,000 and 49,000 people to their graves.
Get Educated: Don’t Believe these Myths about the Flu Vaccine
- The flu vaccine gives you the flu. This is unequivocally false. The flu vaccine cannot and does not give you the flu. The popularity of this false rumor may stem from the fact that some flu vaccines are made with inactivated—NOT infectious—flu vaccine viruses. You 100 percent cannot get the flu from this type of vaccine, or any other type of flu vaccine.
- Vaccines are dangerous. False again. Vaccines are one of the most beneficial medical advances in history. There is no link between vaccines and autism. Diseases that were once eradicated have appeared again due to people choosing to not get their children vaccinated. Vaccines prevent more serious illnesses and deaths than any other kind of medical treatment.
- After October or November, it’s too late to get a flu shot. Not true! While it’s best to get your flu shot as early in the season as possible, you should still get it when you can. Protect yourself!
- “I had the flu already this season. I can’t get it again.” False. Even if you’ve had the flu already, you should still get vaccinated so that you don’t get it again.
Avoid the Flu! Get Vaccinated
When you get a flu shot, not only are you protecting yourself, you are helping to stop the spread of the illness. These are the best ways to avoid getting the flu:
To learn more about the flu and the flu vaccine, call Fast Track at 800-417-1164.