The benefits of the flu vaccine are many. Ideally, of course, the vaccine will prevent the virus altogether. If you do come down with the flu, however, the vaccine can help reduce symptoms. This latter detail may seem like a sad consolation prize, but it’s important, as easing symptoms will reduce your chances of hospitalization. One study showed a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among vaccinated adults and a 77% reduction for vaccinated individuals 55 years of age or older.
The flu vaccine is especially important for those already suffering from other conditions, including:
- Chronic health conditions
- Cardiac issues
- Chronic lung disease
Pregnant women are also strongly encouraged to get the vaccine because they are at higher risk for complications from the virus.
The CDC suggests taking the following three major precautions to help control and prevent the spread of influenza this season:
1) Get the flu vaccine. Just do it! You will reduce your number of doctor visits, miss less work and school, and lower your risk of hospitalization.
2) Once the seasonal flu hits, avoid going being around people who are sick. If you get sick, stay away from others when possible. The CDC recommends staying home and away from others for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
2) Practice good health habits to stop the spread of germs. What are good health habits? Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Keep communal surfaces and objects clean and disinfected.
In short: get the vaccine, avoid sick people (and quarantine yourself if you get sick), and keep your hands and home clean!
For more information about flu vaccines or schedule an appointment, contact Newport Urgent Care.