It’s that time of year again: flu season. With so many variants floating around, it’s your responsibility to ensure you and your family are protecting yourselves from contracting the Influenza virus as best you can. At Wolf River Wellness, we encourage you to sign up for the flu vaccine as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn the four reasons why you should get your flu shot at Wolf River Wellness this year.
Influenza, more generally known as “the flu,” is a highly common contagious disease that infects 3-11% of the U.S. population yearly. Flu is caused by the Influenza virus, which leads to respiratory symptoms that affect the nose, throat, and lungs. Patients infected with the flu may experience mild to severe symptoms, depending on a wide range of lifestyle factors and the severity of the virus’s strain.
How It Spreads
The flu is an airborne illness and spreads when infected individuals cough, sneeze, or speak. These actions cause tiny droplets of water containing the virus to be expelled into the air, where they may land in the airways of another person. Each flu season presents a different strain of influenza. While you could technically get the flu at any time of the year, it is much more common to get an infection during the winter months.
Not everyone who is infected with the flu virus presents symptoms, but those who do may experience fever, sore throat, persistent cough, headaches, fatigue, and runny nose. In some cases, an Influenza infection can lead to hospitalization or even death.
Reasons to Get the Flu Shot
The best way to prevent the flu is to get your annual flu shot from Wolf River Wellness, and doing so will provide many benefits for you, your family, and your broader community. Doing your part to prevent the spread will leave you happier and healthier all flu season long. Here’s why:
#1: The Flu Shot Changes Yearly
Each year, the Centers for Disease Control tracks data to predict the strains they expect to be the most prevalent for any given flu season. By targeting the ones they believe are most likely to affect the population and administering vaccinations accordingly, it becomes easier to prevent the disease from spreading.
While this approach works extremely well for each specific flu season, it also means that the shot’s effectiveness will wear off before the next season. You’ll need to get a new flu shot each year to keep the infection at bay. Wolf River Wellness follows the CDC’s guidelines, which recommend getting your vaccination by the end of October to stay protected in the peak flu season.
#2: The Flu Shot Can Prevent Symptoms & Routine Disruption
Not everyone who becomes infected by the flu feels sick, but getting the flu shot early enough in the season can reduce the risk of developing symptoms or lessen their effects even if you do contract them. The CDC advises that patients who contract the illness should stay home until 24 hours after their fever has subsided or four-five days after their symptoms first appear. Flu symptoms are often uncomfortable enough to cause patients to stay home from work or school, but by taking the vaccine, you may reduce or eliminate the amount of time you spend away from your regular routine.
#3: The Flu Shot Could Prevent Serious Illness or Death
Patients who contract the flu usually experience mild or moderate respiratory symptoms, but for higher-risk patients, the illness could prove to be fatal. Many categories might place you at high risk for flu complications, including age, pregnancy, obesity, immune system disorders, or chronic illness.
Young children (age two or younger) or older adults (age 65 and up) are more likely to experience hospitalization due to weaker immune systems, leaving them more vulnerable to fighting the virus on their own. Similarly, obese patients may experience worse symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, and may require hospitalization.
Because of the higher risk, it is especially important for people who fall into these categories to get the flu vaccine. The flu shot could be the line between a moderate outbreak and a major medical emergency.
#4: The Flu Shot Protects Your Neighbors
Even if you don’t fall into a high-risk category or aren’t concerned about missing work or school due to symptoms, one major reason to consider getting the flu shot is to prevent yourself from passing it to others. The flu shot signals to your body to produce antiviral bodies that naturally fight off the illness, which also means you’re less likely to spread it to others who may be high-risk. This form of herd immunity is what allows large swaths of the population to remain unaffected by the virus during the flu season, preventing countless hospitalizations and deaths each year.
Wolf River Wellness: Take Control of Your Health
No matter what time of year it is, we’re here to help patients feel better faster. With over 30 years of quality experience, our expert team puts health first and foremost in the minds of people living in Germantown and the surrounding areas.
If you haven’t scheduled your flu shot yet, don’t wait until it’s too late! Book your appointment today.