Approximately 5-20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu every year, and 200,000 people end up hospitalized due to complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The flu shot is the first line of defense in protecting yourself and your loved ones from the seasonal flu. Here’s what you need to know:
The 411 on the Flu
Influenza, AKA “the flu,” is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. While many cases are mild, others are severe and can result in hospitalization and even death.
Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. While anyone can get the flu, young children, seniors, and pregnant women are at increased risk.
Why You Need the Flu Shot
While the effectiveness of the flu shot depends upon the season, health care practitioners agree that the flu vaccine is the single most important thing you can do to safeguard yourself from the flu. The CDC recommends that every person who is at least six months old should be vaccinated from the flu.
While all vaccines can be accompanied by side effects, the side effects of the flu shot are mild, and may include soreness, redness or swelling at the site, hoarseness, itchy eyes, fever aches and fatigue.
If you’re worried that the flu shot will trigger the illness, think again. The vaccine does not contain the live flu virus, so it cannot cause the flu. Considered an essential public health measure, millions of people have safely received the flu shot.
Many people avoid getting the flu shot because they think they’re too late. In fact, while flu season peaks between December and February, it can last well into spring. So whether you get vaccinated in November or March, you can keep yourself healthy throughout the winter months in 2015 and beyond.
Where to Get Your Flu Shot
Did you know that a trip to the ER can cost as much as 85 percent more than a visit to your local urgent care center? LuminCARE Urgent Care Center offers a safe, convenient way to get your 2015 flu shot while avoiding crowded, germ-filled ERs. You can even check in online to avoid a wait!
It’s not too late to take steps to keep yourself healthy and flu-free this season. Visit LuminCARE today to optimize your health and wellness in 2015.