Do You Need a Flu Shot This Season?
It’s that time of year again: flu season is underway, which means retail clinics such as Rite Aid/RediClinic on West Alabama Street or CVS/Minute Clinic on North Loop West in Houston are offering yearly shots to protect you from the potentially deadly virus.
This year’s flu shot is expected to protect recipients from three or four strains of the influenza virus, making it all the more necessary for wary individuals to invest in a flu shot. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider getting a flu shot this year:
- They’re free, at least for most people. Almost all insurances cover the cost of a flu shot in full, so all you lose when getting a flu shot is a few mere moments of your time.
- They don’t give you the flu. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. You can, however, get infected with the flu virus before the shot has had time to fully enter your system, which can take up to two weeks. This means that the sooner you can get your shot, the safer you will be!
- It can protect against dangerous medical complications. The flu has been known to kill before, and it is especially dangerous for those who are pregnant, older adults, and young children/babies. It can also have different effects on people who suffer from chronic diseases like asthma, cancer, obesity, and HIV. If you or someone you know might fall in one or more of these categories, it is absolutely essential to make sure they get a flu shot so they can protect themselves in potentially trying times.
- If you still catch the flu, it can drastically reduce the severity of your symptoms. Is the flu shot fool-proof? No. People have still gotten the flu after receiving a flu shot, but it isn’t because they got the shot. Rather, people still catch the virus because it changes and evolves, which means there are multiple different strains out there. The flu shot protects against the most relevant of these strains, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch one of the less-prevalent variations. That said, receiving a flu shot could lessen the effects of the virus on your body, even if you catch an entirely different strain.
What can a Local Hospital do for the Flu?
It is important to realize that you cannot get a flu shot at a hospital; you must visit a local location that openly distributes shots in order to get vaccinated. However, if you catch the virus and your symptoms continue to worsen after two or three days, you will want to visit your local ER for treatment.
Visiting an emergency room or ER near you like The Heights in Houston, Texas, is extremely important if you are faced with any of the following symptoms:
- A rising or worsening fever
- Ongoing diarrhea
- Bloody stool or saliva
- Trouble breathing
- An increase of symptoms after you’ve started to feel better
If you develop flu-like symptoms and smoke, have diabetes, are pregnant, or deal with chronic conditions that affect your organs, you’ll want to head to the hospital immediately. Doctors at an ER can treat symptoms caused by the flu so that you not only feel better, quicker, but so you also avoid scary situations that might put your life at risk.
For more information on why you should receive a flu shot, or about what you should do when flu-like symptoms don’t get better in a matter of days, call The Heights 24/7 at 713-588-0320.