Should I get a flu shot this winter?

Influenza, AKA Flu, is not just the usual colds. The virus that causes flu is very contagious and sometimes so strong that it can lead to severe illnesses such as Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Ear infections and other flu-related complications that can become life-threatening. Additionally, the self-limiting characteristic of a virus makes flu at some point an incurable condition.

Medications can only alleviate the signs and symptoms of flu but it cannot kill the virus nor heal the person immediately. The virus also comes in different forms. That is why people, young and old, usually get infected with flu over and over again since the body cannot create a specific immunity against the disease.

The effects of flu vary from person to person. Every year, the number of individuals who get infected with flu and dies of flu steadily increases. It usually occurs on people of extreme ages who have weaker immune systems since they are more prone to get very ill when flu strikes them while people who have better health conditions have higher degrees of protection against it.

Seasonal flu can be very unpredictable. Customarily, it appears suddenly. Signs and symptoms of constant fever, headache, constant to severe body malaise and body ache and extreme exhaustion are the first to appear. In contrast to the common cold, the flu virus seldom causes sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and sneezing. Cough and chest discomfort is most likely to occur in influenza and may get worse.

Fortunately, the devastating health effects of flu can be prevented. You can stay healthy and protected from acquiring flu by getting a flu shot every year. A flu vaccine is contained in every flu shot. With this vaccine, the body will be able to create certain antibodies to enhance the body’s immunity against the specific strains that the vaccine have. People who are strongly advised to routinely get a flu shot are those who are pregnant, healthcare workers, people aged 65 years old and above, those who have long-term health conditions and the people who care for them.

The saying “Prevention is better than cure” may sound cliché and overused. But this timeless principle has definitely saved million of lives. Invest on getting a flu shot now and reap the priceless benefits of staying healthy and fit!

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