Articles, Blog

The Flu (Influenza): What You Should Know

November 9, 2019


[MUSIC] Influenza is caused by influenza virus
and that’s the one that hits really hard really fast with the high fever and
respiratory symptoms. A cold generally is milder and so there’s different viruses
that cause a cold that usually have more gradual onset. When you get influenza,
usually people who get it can say, “I was fine until 4 o’clock on Thursday.” They
can really tell a specific time when it just hits them. Most other respiratory
illnesses have a more gradual onset of you just start to not feel
very well, but you get the fever, the muscle aches, the respiratory symptoms
including coughing and sneezing, but it’s really the high fever and the muscle
aches, the lethargy, the being tired that hits really hard. So those who get
the most sick from influenza, that have the most complications are those less
than five years of age and then those older than 65 years of age and then
anybody who has an underlying medical condition, so anybody who has, for example,
heart or kidney or liver disease, they’re going to be more vulnerable to
complications if they do get influenza. Well, the best protection against
influenza is the influenza vaccine, but it also helps to wash hands, because
although it’s a respiratory illness and so you can get it from somebody coughing
or sneezing on you and then breathing that in, it can last on other things and
you can get it on your hands and then if you touch your face or touch your mouth,
it can be transmitted that way, so hand-washing is good,
the alcohol-based hand sanitizers are good and then try not to be around sick
people. If you’re sick, then you shouldn’t expose other people, so don’t come into
work, don’t go to school and your co-workers will appreciate that. Sometimes it hits hard in
November or December and sometimes not until March and the protection lasts the
whole season, so it’s best to get protected before it hits. That being said,
if you haven’t been vaccinated in January or February, it’s still a good
idea to get influenza vaccine because there’s still circulating virus.
Even if you’ve had the flu, it’s good to get vaccinated because generally during
the season, more than one strain circulates. You can’t get flu from the
flu vaccine. That’s the most common thing that I hear, and then some people say, “I
got the vaccine and it just doesn’t work because I ended up getting the flu,” and
it’s true that it doesn’t work a hundred percent. It doesn’t provide a hundred
percent protection, but if you’re vaccinated, that is an excellent way to
protect against flu and it will provide, if there’s a good match, it’ll provide
around sixty percent protection against flu and if you get breakthrough illness,
illness even though you’ve been vaccinated, then it’ll be a milder flu
and you’ll recover faster so it’s still worth it to get the vaccine every year.

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