Winter brings a magical landscape but also signals the arrival of flu season. With the drop in temperatures, the flu virus thrives, making its rounds and affecting millions. Protecting yourself and your loved ones from this contagious illness becomes paramount during these chilly months.
In the United States alone, the flu impacts a significant portion of the population annually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anywhere between 9 million to 41 million cases of flu-related illnesses are reported during a typical flu season. These numbers, coupled with the potential severity of the flu's impact, emphasize the importance of preventive measures.
In this blog, we'll learn everything from flu symptoms to the best time to be vaccinated. We'll explore healthy habits, how to prevent the flu at school and work, and who should prioritize vaccination.
Before we know how to prevent influenza, let us understand what flu is in the first place.
A contagious respiratory disease, influenza, also known as flu, causes lung, nose, and throat infections. Older people, young children, and people with compromised immunity and other health conditions are more vulnerable to influenza. Getting the flu vaccine annually is one of the best ways of flu prevention. Also, practicing good hygiene and staying home if you're sick is important to stop the flu from spreading and reduce your symptoms.
The symptoms of flu can range from mild to severe. The onset of flu symptoms is sudden. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Flu is highly contagious and spreads through droplets when the infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks. People nearby might catch the influenza virus via their noses or mouths. It might also happen that a person touches an object or surface with a flu virus and then touches one's nose, mouth, and eyes, thus transmitting the infection.
Here are some healthy practices you must follow for flu prevention.
To prevent the flu at school, ensure the institution has plans for potential outbreaks and offers on-site flu vaccinations. Confirm regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces and availability of essential hygiene supplies. Understand the protocols for separating sick individuals, the care provided until they can go home, and the absentee policy for sick students and staff.
In the workplace, inquire about the employer's contingency plans for flu outbreaks and on-site vaccination options. Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, keyboards, and phones to reduce germ transmission. Ensure the workplace maintains sufficient tissues, soap, hand sanitizers, and wipes. If feeling unwell at work, prioritize leaving promptly to limit exposure to others.
One of the most common questions is about who should get a flu shot. It's recommended for:
On the other hand, people who should avoid the flu shot include:
Getting a flu shot every year is vital for everyone aged six months and older, especially those at higher risk of severe flu complications. Different vaccines suit various age groups, with options available for those as young as six months and specific ones for adults 65 and older. Pregnant women and those with chronic conditions should get vaccinated, avoiding nasal spray if pregnant or with certain health issues. While there are preferences for specific vaccines for adults, any suitable flu vaccine suffices if preferred options aren't available.
One of the best ways to prevent flu is through vaccination. Getting the flu shot on time can help in evading the flu virus. Even if you are infected, the symptoms will not be severe.
MI Express Urgent Care is your reliable destination for timely flu shots and comprehensive protection against the flu virus. Our healthcare experts prioritize your well-being and provide quick and reliable vaccination services to keep you safe. Trust us to provide prompt and effective flu vaccinations, ensuring you stay protected throughout the flu season. Contact us today to prioritize your well-being and health.