Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is a viral infection that affects your respiratory system. Though symptoms range from mild to severe, for some, the flu can lead to serious health complications. At Valley Medical Center in Brentwood, Tennessee, Adejoke Aina-Babalola, MD, recommends you get the yearly flu shot to protect yourself from getting the highly contagious virus. To learn more about flu shots or to schedule your vaccination, call the office or request an appointment online today.
The flu is a very contagious virus that spreads through droplets in the air after someone with the virus coughs, sneezes, or talks. You may get the flu by inhaling the droplets or touching a surface infected with the droplets and then touching your nose, eyes, or mouth.
The flu virus attacks your nose, throat, and lungs and causes a range of symptoms, such as:
In most cases, the flu resolves with at-home care. However, some people are at risk of developing serious health complications from the flu, such as pneumonia or respiratory failure.
Though most people only experience mild symptoms, health care professionals recommend that everyone aged six months and older get the flu shot every year to protect themselves and their loved ones from getting sick.
You should get the flu shot before the flu season starts. Though you can get the flu at any time, infections are more common during the colder months of the year. Flu season generally runs from December to February.
To get the most protection, your health care provider recommends you get your flu shot before the end of October. However, it’s never too late to get vaccinated, even if it’s the middle of flu season.
Your annual flu shot triggers your immune system to create antibodies against the virus. Antibodies help you fight off the infection, so you don’t get sick. It takes your body about two weeks to develop enough antibodies to protect you from a flu infection.
Flu viruses evolve and change quickly, and the flu shot you received last year may not protect you from the flu viruses circulating this year. Your annual flu shot contains strains of the virus predicted to be the most common during the upcoming flu season.
Yes, the flu shot is safe for most people. However, your health care provider may not recommend the flu shot if you’re allergic to eggs or experienced a bad reaction to the flu shot in the past.
Your flu shot won’t give you the flu, but some people experience body aches or mild fever for a few days following vaccination.
To schedule your flu shot, call Valley Medical Center or book an appointment online today.