Flu Shot Season

November 27, 2017

You walk into the doctor’s office or clinic and feel goosebumps crawl up your body as the chilly air surrounds you. The nurse wipes the skin on your arm with the wet sterilizing wipe then pierces your skin with the needle. This is the scene of the dreaded flu shot. Often times, however, a question arises regarding the validity of these shots. Do they really prevent the flu?

The flu seems to be a seasonal virus, as the temperature outside drops, people tend to become more ill than usual. Flu season occurs from the months of October through May. Flu symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue. It is hard to treat as resting and drinking a lot of fluids are the only ways to fight off the infection. In this sense, getting a preventative flu shot may not seem like a bad idea. For some, though, the flu shot makes them ill more than if they did not receive the shot.

The flu shot contains an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. When you get this vaccine, you are actually being injected with a virus that will hopefully prevent other viruses. Symptoms of the flu shot may include soreness and redness from the shot and headaches, fever, nausea, and muscle aches.

Trypanophobia is the fear of needles. Many people suffer from this condition, therefore other options would be advised. Other ways to prevent getting ill without getting a shot would be to avoid being near others who are ill, to cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth, to wash your hands, and to have good health habits that will improve your immune system.

Many doctor offices and walk-in clinics provide the flu shot from September to mid-November.

As we approach this sticky flu season, there are ways to steer clear from it, such as going to the doctor or a clinic to receive a flu shot or becoming aware of your health are things to think about as we are nearing this season.

The next time you are sitting in bed with millions of tissues surrounding the entire room and the terrible aching feeling hurts your body and leaves you drained of all energy, consider what steps you need to take in order to take care of your health.

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