It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot

By Paul Riegler on 21 December 2018
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The advent of the holiday season is a good reminder that the flu season is well underway – it typically peaks in February – and that it isn’t too late to get a flu shot.

While the risk for exposure to influenza varies by region and time of year, everyone – but especially travelers – should be inoculated against the flu. Flu season starts in the northern hemisphere around October and continues through May.

Frequent travelers – given that they are exposed to germs in aluminum tubes of various sizes hurtling through space as well as in restaurants and conference halls – are particularly at risk.

Remember, even a mild case of the flu brings multiple symptoms including fever, cough, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and pains, a runny nose, and sore throat.

So about that flu shot. Although the vaccine’s overall efficacy is far less than ideal, it nonetheless reduces the severity of the disease if contracted and prevents thousands of unnecessary hospital visits, more serious cases of the flu, and undoubtedly numerous deaths. A flu shot is of particular importance for those at risk for flu-related complications, such as children younger than five, adults over the age of 65, and pregnant women, as well as those with chronic illnesses.

For those planning a trip, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated two weeks prior to departure in order to allow immunity to develop.

If you do find yourself with the flu, whatever you do, do not travel. Doctors recommend you stay home until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever without taking fever-reducing medicine such as aspirin or Tylenol.

Finally, if you are still of the opinion that this is all hype, keep in mind that the biggest pandemic in history was the Spanish flu of 1918, which infected one-third of the world’s population and killed over 50 million people.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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