The fall and winter months have a lot of wonderful things to offer, but at the same time, it is also flu season. Influenza is a type of virus that can cause serious illness, and the prevalent strain of the flu can vary from one year to another. While there is no definitive cure for the flu, flu vaccinations are developed each year. It is highly recommended that all people make an appointment with their family physician to get a flu shot in the early fall. There are many reasons to get an annual flu shot, such as the following.
Potentially Prevent the Flu
If you have ever had the flu, you know that it is truly a miserable experience. In most cases, the influenza virus causes extreme body aches, a high fever, chills, and respiratory issues that can develop into pneumonia. The flu shot is not 100% effective, but it is estimated that it prevents a huge amount of flu cases each year. If you do not want to spend days feeling miserable and then deal with weakness for weeks afterward, getting a flu shot is your best bet.
Less Severe Case of the Flu
A flu shot works by introducing tiny parts of flu strains into your system. This allows your immune system to build up antibodies against the different flu strains. Thus, if you do contract the flu after getting an annual flu shot, there is a good chance that you will have a much milder case than if you did not get your shot. This is because your immune system will already have some antibodies made and will be better prepared to fight off the virus. In addition to a milder case of the flu, you are also much less likely to suffer serious complications that can result in hospitalization.
Help Protect Others
Getting a flu shot is not just a good thing to do for your own health, but you can also help protect other people. While the flu shot is highly recommended for almost everyone, very young infants, people with compromised immune systems, and those who have had severe reactions to the flu shot are not able to get annual flu vaccinations. Making an appointment to get your flu shot means that you are less likely to spread flu germs to those who are unable to be vaccinated for the flu for any number of reasons, potentially preventing them from falling ill.
For more information, contact a family physician.