Flu season is just around the corner, so it’s time to protect yourself against the virus. Presidio Home Care is here to help provide clarity and support so you can stay healthy this time of year.
What is the Flu?
Put simply: the flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. Unlike the common cold, which develops slowly, the flu tends to come on suddenly. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, sore throat, chest discomfort, fever, body aches, fatigue and headaches.
Although flu seasons will differ in severity, for adults 65 years and older, the risk of developing serious complications such as pneumonia and hospitalization is higher. That’s due in part to a declining immune response as we age, and chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes, to name a few.
Prevention is Key
For mature adults, prevention is the best defense against influenza. Getting a yearly flu vaccine could reduce the severity of symptoms, shorten the length of your hospital stay, or prevent you from getting the flu altogether. Fewer people with severe flu-related complications translates to fewer people needing to stay at a hospital, freeing up resources that are especially precious during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As for when you or your loved one should get vaccinated, it’s worth noting that the flu
vaccine takes about two to three weeks for antibodies to rise high enough to be
protective. Experts advise keeping an eye on flu activity within your local area because
healthcare providers try to match their boosting efforts to afford you and your loved
ones with optimum levels of immunity, especially when the virus is on the rise.
But don’t go too early — the typical flu season begins around November — and the
protection the flu vaccination provides to mature adults tends to wane faster.
Setting the Record Straight
There are plenty of misconceptions when it comes to vaccines, and the flu vaccine is no
exception. We’re here to dispel common myths:
The vaccine can give me the flu. The injected flu vaccine contains an inactivated virus that cannot give you influenza. If you feel achy, remember that it’s perfectly normal for the immune system to react to the vaccine. Body aches generally last about a day or two.
I’ll experience severe side effects. Severe side effects are extremely rare, and the flu vaccine is proven to be safe.
I got vaccinated and still got the flu, therefore it didn’t work. Several flu viruses are circulating all the time. It is possible that the influenza viruses used for the vaccine don't match the viruses spreading during the season. If this occurs, your flu shot still offers some protection, but could be less effective.
Presidio Home Care's Promise
From gentle reminders about medication to driving you to appointments, Presidio Home
Care Aides are here to help you and your loved one achieve optimal health in all
seasons. Contact our office today to learn more.