November 1, 2018

Flu season is quickly approaching, and after last year’s record-breaking number of confirmed flu cases and deaths, you might be wondering if you need to get vaccines for you and your family. Our doctors at Healthcare Associates of Texas understand you might have some concerns about receiving a flu shot. We have a few things we want you to know about the vaccine to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

What Is the Flu Anyway?

Flu is a respiratory illness that’s very contagious. It’s caused by the influenza virus and can infect your nose, throat, and lungs. The severity of the flu can range from mild to severe and can lead to death in some cases. If you want to stay healthy and free of this dangerous virus, you need to get vaccinated.

The flu isn’t the same as the common cold. It comes on quickly and will always cause a fever. Here are a few of the most common symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Chills

How Do You Get It?

Doctors believe the virus is spread by tiny droplets that leave your body when you talk, cough, or sneeze. If these droplets enter the mouth or nose of others, they can become sick with the virus too. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it, but this is less likely.

The scariest thing about the flu is that you can pass it on to others before you even know you’re sick. And, you’re still contagious for up to four days after the illness begins. Once you get the virus, you will start to show symptoms in about one to four days.

Who Needs the Vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine. It’s especially crucial for pregnant women, the elderly, and young children. Children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years might need two doses to be fully protected. Talk to your doctor about what’s best for your children.

Some chronic conditions can increase your risk of complications from the flu virus, making it particularly important to be vaccinated. These conditions include:

  • Obesity
  • Asthma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis

If you’re ready to schedule your vaccine, give our office a call today. If you’re still not sure if you want to get a flu shot, call our office to discuss your concerns with a staff member. We want you to be well this flu season.

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