Every year during the winter season, millions of people around the world are struck down with influenza virus. One of the main questions we see people asking is, how do I protect myself and family from getting the flu?
As recommended by the CDC, the best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. The flu shot reduces the number of flu cases each year and lowers the risk of serious complications.
The flu shot generally refers to the nasal spray version and the vaccine refers to the injectable form. However, the two terms are used interchangeably in social conversation or online.
Is the flu shot or vaccine suitable for everyone?
Some people are not able to have the flu shot or vaccine. People with allergies to egg, antibiotics, gelatin, or other ingredients, should check with a doctor whether they are eligible.
Those with a current medical condition also need to discuss with a health professional if the flu shot is right for them.
Does the flu shot always work?
It’s also important to remember that the flu shot doesn’t protect you from every strain of the influenza. Even people who have had the vaccine are still susceptible to the flu.
This is because the flu shots and vaccines are made in advance ready for the next flu season. Since the influenza virus is constantly changing, the vaccines are reviewed annually.
Based on year-round global data collection, the WHO recommends which strains to include for the upcoming year. Each country makes their own decision which viruses to include, then develops the vaccine accordingly.
There are many subtypes of the influenza virus, and not all of them are included in the shot or vaccine. That’s why it does not provide full protection and why some people can get the flu more than once per year.
How long does the flu last?
Symptoms of the flu usually appear from one to four days after being exposed to the virus. They can last for around one week.
For those who have had the flu shot, symptoms are reportedly less severe and last for a shorter length of time. Symptoms may last longer for some people who have another medical condition, or if the immune system is already low when exposed to the flu.
Fatigue is common after the virus has gone, because the body is still using much of its energy to recover.
Eating plenty of nutritious foods, staying hydrated, and taking a natural supplement to strengthen the immune system can help with faster recovery.
How long is the flu contagious?
Influenza is contagious for around one week after becoming sick, and one day before you start experiencing symptoms. People with the flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after the illness begins.
The CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone, except to get medical care and necessities. Fever is not always present with the flu, so always cough or sneeze into a tissue to avoid potential spread.
How many people die of the flu each year?
Influenza can cause epidemic levels of hospital visits and deaths each year. There were reportedly 34,200 deaths during the 2018–2019 influenza season and just under half a million hospitalizations.
What else can I do to protect myself from getting the flu?
Luckily there are other ways you can help increase your immunity and protect yourself and family from the flu.
- Avoid substances that will lower immunity and functioning of the cells such as tobacco and alcohol.
- Eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals to give your body the fuel it requires to feel strong and energized.
- Take a proven natural supplement with antiviral, antibacterial and anti-microbial benefits such as the d-Lenolate Plus Cold and Flu.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before touching your face or eating.
- Disinfect surface areas at home, wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly and avoid touching public handrails without gloves.
Though there can never be a 100% protection from the flu, taking these measures may significantly reduce your chances. And if you do become infected, your immune system can be better equipped to fight it.