Flu season is around the corner, and if you want to beat it then this article is for you. We discuss what flu vaccines are, who should get them, how they work, and more! Don’t worry; there’s no need to be scared of needles because we’ll show you some easy ways to administer a flu shot.
We’ve created an infographic that will walk you through all the steps of flu prevention, including when to get vaccinated, who should not get it, how to administer a shot and what are the possible risks. Feel free to share this graphic on your own website by simply copy-pasting the embed code below:
Influenza (the flu) is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by RNA viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza virus A can also cause illness in other parts of the body, such as the stomach or muscle. There are different subtypes of influenza viruses, but they can be classified into two groups: A and B. Influenza type A viruses are very common and often change their form as they mix with other species of influenza type A and even other types of influenza (eg, bird flu). Types of the virus that infect humans include: H1N1, H5N1, H7N9, H1N2, and H3N2.
With the uncanny ability to change form and evade our bodies’ immune defences, we can imagine that half of the population becomes infected by influenza virus in their lives, and 20?velop severe complications such as pneumonia that require hospitalization. The good news is that most people recover from the flu within a week or two.
However, the bad news is that influenza has a deadly history. According to the CDC, as many as 650 000 Americans died from flu complications between 1976 and 2007—and those are only official numbers. In fact, an estimated 80 000 people die from influenza yearly in the US alone!
In addition to this high mortality rate, the influenza virus also has the ability to change rapidly, which makes it difficult for vaccines to keep up with. To make things even more challenging, scientists estimate that only about 10% of hospitalized flu patients receive antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamavir). Furthermore, some individuals are more susceptible to severe complications due to their age, pre-existing medical conditions, or the fact that they are pregnant.
The good news is that there are ways to avoid contracting this illness! We recommend getting vaccinated every year—and not only because it is the best protection against influenza but also because vaccination can reduce others’ risk of catching the flu. Furthermore, avoiding crowded places and avoiding contact with sick individuals will go a long way to preventing you from contracting the illness. Did you know that if one member of your household gets sick then there is up to an 80% chance that another family member may also become infected?
However, even these methods are not 100?fective because this infectious disease is still extremely present in the environment. That’s why some people should consider getting vaccinated—even if they are not at high risk of complications or death. Mainly, individuals who interact with others at high risk for severe influenza-related complications (eg, health-care workers), young children (under 5 years old), pregnant women, and senior citizens are recommended to receive the vaccine.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about flu vaccines! We will also outline alternative ways of preventing influenza… Because not all of us enjoy getting an injection every season.