Who needs to be protected from flu?
Influenza or flu is not given much credence in India, but the fact is that there is need for awareness about it. A timely flu shot just before the monsoon season can help prevent the illness. So Who needs to be protected from flu?
What is Influenza or Flu?
Flu is a highly transmittable viral infection of the respiratory system causing fever and severe aches, and often occurs in the form of epidemics. The best way to avert flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
What are Flu Symptoms?
Flu is unlike a common cold. Flu usually comes on unexpectedly and people who have flu often have
Fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, body aches and headaches.
Some children may have vomiting and diarrhoea.
It’s significant to remember that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
How Flu Spreads
Most specialists are certain that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny infectious droplets from people with the flu when they cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets disperse in the air and are carriers of the flu.
Who is most likely to be infected with influenza? Who needs to be protected from flu?
Children are naturally energetic and curious. They play in the outdoors and are most probable to get the flu. The likelihood of children between the ages of 6 months to 8 years getting influenza are three times more in evolving countries like India. Senior citizens above 65 years of age are also prone to catching influenza.
What is seasonal influenza?
A severe respiratory infection triggered by the influenza virus, the seasonal flu cases in our country see a rise during monsoons and winter. All year round there may be cases but the major peak is during winter and during post-monsoon. The indications of seasonal influenza comprise of fever, dry cough, headache, bad throat, muscle and joint pains and of course, a runny nose. It takes almost a week to recover but the cough can last for 15 days. Nevertheless, seasonal flu can get critical and, in some cases, fatal. (1)
Who needs flu shots in India?
Children in the age group of 6 months to 5 years, ageing persons (65+ years old), pregnant women and people with continuing medical conditions like diabetes, asthma or any other breathing disorders. Senior citizens are highly vulnerable to the flu and should be extra cautious about their health. They need to take the flu vaccination.
Good hygiene is a way to protect yourself against the flu, but the best and fool proof method is flu vaccination.
Prevention of the flu
As the flu season approaches, it is important for us to get the flu vaccination before the beginning of the season or anytime during it but preventive measures too should be followed. Follow simple hygiene practices like washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face. In addition, it is better to cough or sneeze into a tissue rather than in the air.
What to do if you have the flu?
- Stay at home and get plenty of rest.
- Drink a lot of fluids.
- Treat the fever
- Control the cough
- Sit in a warm bath
- Use saline drops
- Suck on a Lozenge
- Use a humidifier (2)
The saying ‘prevention is better than the cure’ is relevant even now. Treatment, recovery and getting back on our feet takes time and energy, so it is always better to speak to a doctor and learn about the flu shot and why you should get it.
We must #PreventWhatCanBePrevented because flu is preventable with vaccination.