If you chose not to receive a flu shot in the fall or early winter, you may now be rethinking your decision based on the intensity of this year’s flu season. It’s frightening to see how many adults and children alike are falling ill and experiencing serious flu complications. Hospitalization rates rose steadily through the beginning of 2018, and though warm weather has arrived in Florida, the flu season is far from over. It’s not too late to receive a flu vaccination to protect your body against the influenza virus!
Why Is the Flu So Dangerous?
For most people, the flu is an uncomfortable inconvenience that lingers for a few days and disappears. But for many others like babies, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems, the flu can lead to serious and dangerous complications. These risks are even worse this year due to the presence of the Influenza A-H3N2 strain.
Bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of other chronic medical conditions can all develop from the flu, which is why the flu shot is such a powerful and valuable tool to prevent illness.
If You’re Pregnant, The Shot is Even More Important
While there are many medicines and foods that you need to avoid while you are pregnant, the flu shot isn’t one of them! According to the CDC, the flu shot is the best protection against influenza for you and your baby. The antibodies that your body develops are actually passed along to your baby and provides protection for several months after she is born. This is essential, since infants under six months of age cannot safely receive the flu shot themselves.
The Flu Vaccine Will Not Make You Sick
It is a longstanding myth that the flu vaccine can actually make patients sick. Don’t fall for that inaccuracy. The flu vaccine contains an inactivated virus that is incapable of spreading infection. It won’t make you sick, but it will help your body develop the antibodies you need to protect against infection from the flu in the future. The flu vaccine does take about two weeks to go into full effect, so it’s always possible that you will fall ill over that two-week period. That’s why the sooner you get your shot, the better!
To learn more about the role of the flu shot in your overall health, especially if you are pregnant, postpartum, over 65, or living with a chronic condition, call (813) 571-2777 to speak to a doctor at Women’s Health and Wellness in Bradenton, Florida. With a full range of gynecology and obstetrics services, Women’s Health and Wellness can provide everything you need to live a healthy, rewarding life.