Doctors are urging to get your flu shot ahead of its peak period when the virus will become more common and risk of illness will rise. The warning has been sent out since October, but this year, the numbers have reportedly dropped in the number of people who actually get vaccinated.
The worrying report arrives ahead of the most dangerous months of the year for the dreaded influenza or, more simply put, the flu. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned the population to get vaccinated since October, that was just the beginning. The flu famously peaks around the colder months, between December and February.
This means that the risk of contracting the virus becomes much more likely. And, the vaccine is the surest way to lower the chances of getting the disease, or any other possible complications. Sadly, there are several conditions that can be developed after getting the flu in certain situations.
Influenza is considered a severe illness that can last between two to three weeks, and is highly contagious. Its symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, fatigue, and in some cases, vomiting or diarrhea. Complications include pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus or ear infections, and may even cause chronic health problems. Those, in turn, result in hospitalization and, in some tragic cases, even death.
According to the CDC, the death rate ranges from 3,000 to a whopping 49,000 per year in the United States. Either number is a result of a tragic complication from a very preventable disease. However, not all are willing to get the flu shot for several reasons.
Some refuse under the reason that they do not believe in the effectiveness of the vaccine. The CDC assures that it is indeed highly beneficial. It may not work on 100% of the cases, but even in those where it fails, it will still bring on a much milder version of the disease. This will aid in avoiding potentially deadly complications.
It also seems that the weather is a major factor on people’s perception. Most do not think of the flu as being a problem until winter. And when winter is generally categorized as ‘snow’ or ‘rain’, no precipitation often skews opinion of when flu season is in.
Others claimed that they don’t need the flu shot because they’ve never gotten it before. However, experts warn that respiratory influenza might not always presents itself with telltale signs of high fever. In those situations, it may be contagious and could potentially affect someone vulnerable to the virus.
Those who present with vulnerabilities are children under 6 months, people over the age of 65 years old, pregnant women, or others who are immunocompromised or have chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or lung problems. They are at risk of severe complications and could contract the disease from a seemingly healthy adult. So, precautions should be taken by all.
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