What is flu?
A flu is a transmissible respiratory disorder that is spread through influenza viruses. It affects the nose, lungs, throat and even though Influenza is a common viral infection, it can lead to complications. It is spread by the influenza virus usually from around the month of October to May.
The virus enters through the respiratory tract and then starts to replicate itself. This causes the respiratory tract to become swollen and inflamed. Once inside the system, the virus then enters the bloodstream and that is when the symptoms start to show.
Common symptoms of Influenza or the flu include fever, headache, running nose, sore throat, cough, fatigue, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting and general pain. The most important thing to prevent getting the flu is vaccination.
What are flu shots?
A flu shot or an Influenza vaccine helps the immune system in creating antibodies that will fight the flu viruses. These anti-bodies fully develop two weeks after you have taken the flu shot.
Who should take the vaccine?
- Some people are prone to diseases more than others but ideally all people above 6 months of age must take it annually.
- The virus affects small children, pregnant women and old people the most. Hence they should certainly take the shot.
- People suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, kidney/liver disease, cancer, obesity, etc. should take the vaccine to avoid getting the flu.
Why take the flu shot every year?
- Protects you against the specific strain of virus that is going to be most common in that season as indicated by research.
- The effect of a vaccine taken the previous year starts to drain and the immune system becomes weaker, so annual vaccination is required.
Who shouldn’t take the flu shot?
- People who have had a bad reaction towards Influenza vaccine in the past
- People who are allergic to egg
- People who are allergic to mercury
- People who have fever on the day of vaccination
Side effects of flu shots
Contrary to what some people believe, the flu shot doesn’t give you the flu. However there might be some similar symptoms that are mild and stay for a day or two –
- Chills or headache
- Redness or swelling in the area where the shot was given
- Sore throat
- Cough & cold
An annual flu shot is one of the best ways to stay away from Influenza and other diseases related to it. Vaccines are available at all of our hospitals and clinics. Book an appointment with Apollo experts for further assistance.