Everyone can agree that getting the flu is no fun, but it can actually be dangerous for some people. The flu is caused by influenza virus, which infects the throat, nose, and lungs. This respiratory illness infects millions of people each year. Fortunately, making an appointment to get a flu vaccine at Peconic Bay Medical Center is easy, convenient and can keep you safe.
Is the Flu Actually Dangerous?
Common symptoms of influenza include fever, chills, runny nose, sore throat, cough, aching or muscle tenderness, headaches and severe fatigue. In children, the flu may cause diarrhea or vomiting.
In years past, severe influenza outbreaks passed rapidly through the population, causing millions of people to die. With today’s improved hygiene, the flu reaches these pandemic proportions with much less frequency. Even so, several thousand people in the United States die from influenza each year. The flu is a potentially deadly respiratory infection and should be taken seriously.
Benefits of Getting Your Annual Flu Vaccination
When it comes to getting the flu, the best tactic is to take a preventative approach to health. Each year, scientists develop a new flu vaccination designed to target the strains of influenza predicted to be most prevalent. As a result, the flu vaccination is uniquely designed to prevent the form of the disease that is most likely to occur that year. Although this estimate is not 100 percent perfect, people who have gotten the flu vaccine are significantly less likely to contract the flu.
Some of the greatest benefits of getting the flu vaccination include:
- People infected with the flu may experience symptoms for 5 to 7 days. Avoiding infection means that you will not have to take sick days and can more thoroughly enjoy your life.
- You won’t infect friends and family members. Influenza can quickly sweep through a household, getting your spouse, kids or other household members sick.
- Less risk of transmitting the virus to vulnerable people. Most of the people who die from influenza are children, elderly adults or immunocompromised people. Getting the flu vaccination means that you won’t place these vulnerable individuals at risk.
- You don’t necessarily need a shot. Although many people opt to get the flu vaccination as a shot, there is an alternative version that may be right for some people. This “live attenuated” vaccine is available as a nasal spray. Ask your Riverhead hospital doctor if the nasal spray is a good option for you.