When the cold and flu season rolls around, many people think that they will be able to make it through the season completely unscathed, even if they have not had the flu vaccine. However, many people do not fully understand these conditions, especially the flu.
Get to know more about the flu and you, so you can be sure that you are taking care of yourself as well as possible this cold and flu season.
You Should Definitely Get a Flu Vaccine
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to the cold and flu season is refusing or forgetting to get vaccinated against the flu. Many people think that the flu is no big deal, that they can get through the season without getting sick, or even that their decision only affects them. However, none of these thoughts are true.
Most people that do not get vaccinated against the flu do end up getting sick from the flu at some point throughout the season. And the flu is anything but minor. In the United States alone, the flu kills dozens of people every year. The majority of those people that die from flu-related complications are elderly or very young, but anyone can succumb to death from the flu.
Although the flu vaccine does not protect against all strains of the flu, it has many benefits. It can protect against some of the most serious types of influenza and protects against the strains of the flu that researchers believe are most likely to be passed around during a particular season. As such, you will be at least partially protected against the flu.
However, getting a flu vaccine is not just about you. It is also about other people around you. There are some members of the population that have certain conditions that prohibit them from being able to take the vaccine. Very young children are also not able to get vaccinated against the flu.
If you do not get vaccinated, you are not only putting yourself at risk of contracting the flu, but you are putting others around you at risk of getting it from you.
You Should Know the Symptoms of the Flu
Because the flu vaccine does not protect you against all forms of the flu, it is still important to know the symptoms of the flu. Whether you get vaccinated or not, there is a chance that you or someone in your household can contract the flu.
One of the ways to best tell that you have the flu rather than a simple cold is whether or not you have a fever. A fever of even 100 degrees can be a symptom of the flu. It is important that you take any fever you develop seriously as it can be a sign of the flu or another serious illness.
In addition to developing a fever, you may also experience feverish chills when you have the flu. Oftentimes, these chills occur periodically, meaning you fluctuate back and forth between feeling very cold and very hot. However, you are likely to experience sweating through the whole ordeal.
When you have the flu, it can feel as if your whole body is affected. You will experience aching throughout your muscles and joints. This is often most pronounced in the limbs but can also include abdominal pain (muscular pain) or back pain.
Headaches are also a common symptom of the flu. If you have severe headaches accompanied with any of these other symptoms, you are likely suffering from the flu rather than a common cold or other ailment.
Knowing these facts about the flu vaccine and the flu itself, you can be sure you do everything you can this flu season to keep yourself as healthy as possible. And as soon as you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should head to the urgent care clinic as soon as possible to get treatment.