Flu is infamous for bringing with it several days of misery for infected people across all age groups in the form of hospitalizations, complications such as sinus and ear related infections, pneumonia, plus can also aggravates health of asthmatics and diabetics. Thousands of flu-related deaths are reported during any given flu season. Hence, we just cannot afford to take it lightly. A person struck with flu can easily transmit the viral respiratory infection to those around when he sneezes and coughs. The tell-tale signs of flu infection include acute malaise, headache, pains felt all through the body, throat soreness, coughing and fever that is higher in comparison to other respiratory tract infections.
Antibiotic course is ineffective for flu since it is a viral rather than a bacterial infection. Flu causes graver problems among individuals in their mid-sixties onwards, those suffering from severe health problems, expectant mothers and infants.The sole means of shielding oneself from the flu is to get the flu vaccine annually, preferably once autumn season commences as the vaccine takes around a fortnight for taking complete effect. This will provide protection to the person throughout the flu season despite it lingering on till March.
As the flu virus tends to alter its chemical casing on a seasonal basis hence taking the flu vaccine yearly is important. Moreover, pregnant females can gain dual benefits from getting the flu vaccine as they are protecting themselves as well as the fetus which is capable of picking up some extent of immunity to the virus from antibodies circulating in the maternal body.
Different Types Of Flu Vaccine
Flu vaccine shields from trio flu viruses which studies have suggested to be highly prevalent in the forthcoming flu season. Flu vaccine is available in duo versions namely flu shot and nasal spray.
Flu shots offered as regular, high dose and intradermal basically contain the inactive virus and are recommended for all individuals over six months of age (inclusive of those in good health and suffering from unremitting health problems), individuals in their mid-sixties and above and individuals in the age group of eighteen to sixty-four years of age respectively.
Nasal Spray (FluMist/ LAIV)
Nasal spray having diluted viruses is advisable for individuals in sound health (asthmatics, diabetics, cardiac and lung disease patients excluded), in the age group of two to forty-nine years of age and are not pregnant.
Side Effects Of The Flu Shot
The commonly experienced side-effects could be felt after twelve hours of being vaccinated and lasting for a number of days which include:
Localized Discomfort And Soreness At Jab Site
Some degree of itchy sensation, pain and tenderness that may or may not be accompanied by redness and swelling at the jab site.
Symptoms Replicating Cold
Audible breathing through a dribbling or congested nose, headaches, throat soreness or pain, coughing and an achy body that sometimes might also be accompanied by low fever (38.4 – 39.5 degree Celsius). Muscular aches could be felt in any region of the body although does not usually cause acute pains.
A number of people faint shortly after receiving the flu shot which is basically a transitory response to the jab and doesn’t require any medical intervention. The stimulation of the vagus nerve tends to trigger a brief plummet in blood pressure that causes fainting in such a scenario. Kids and teenagers are particularly susceptible to fainting soon following the shot administration.
Rare Grave Reactions Like Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)
GBS is a rare immune disorder typified by differing degrees of feeling weak or tingling felt in the lower extremities or even trunk and arms. Flu vaccine may trigger this illness that can develop within some hours/weeks/days of administration among people with a history of GBS.
Acute Allergic Reactions
People who are allergic to egg or other constituents in the flu vaccine or have severe egg allergy that is life threatening in nature must avoid getting the flu vaccine as they might develop anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a grave allergy reaction characterized by onset of hives, itchy sensations, swollen face that can swiftly escalate to collapsed heart and respiratory functions.
This is applicable to expectant mothers who must notify their jab administrators if they have any of these conditions or suffered from any acute allergic reactions in the past after getting a flu vaccine.
Side Effects Of Nasal Spray
The nasal spray doesn’t trigger acute symptoms which are frequently linked to the flu illness.
Children administered the nasal spray can experience stuffy nose, aching sensations in muscles, wheezing, higher body temperature and puking. Among adults the prevalent side-effects include nasal dribbling, headaches, throat pain and coughing.
Majority of the flu vaccine related side-effects are mild-ranging and the severe ones rarely occur. One is essentially safer getting inoculated than avoiding it. Moreover, it is always prudent to get vaccinated rather than ail from flu-related complications.