No one likes sneezing, the headache that follows, and the realization that you’ve got the flu.
Getting the flu is one of the most common reasons for taking a sick leave. From our childhood days, we have been suffering from the flu – sometimes mild, and sometimes with serious repercussions.
Most of us have been told that it is natural to have the flu that lasts for days or weeks at least once a year like it is an annual holiday. What we do not understand about the flu is that it’s easily preventable – yes, it is possible!
So why take the undue stress, anxiety, and suffering?
Our healthcare system is already struggling with the increased need and demands in response to the current pandemic. Hence, we can save medical resources by protecting and safeguarding ourselves from viral illnesses like the flu.
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What is flu Season in India?
Most of us keep thinking and researching about why we keep getting the flu and how it impacts us. I got to know that there is something called flu Season. Yes, I am not making this up. In India, in most of the states, the flu season is at the start of the monsoon and in a few states, during the winter season.
Now, one would think, what are the signs and symptoms of Seasonal flu?
Seasonal influenza or flu shows these common symptoms – fever, cough (this is usually dry), headache, pain in the muscle and joints, malaise (feeling unwell), sore throat, and our old enemy i.e., the running nose. 
This brings us to the next question – is it preventable?
Yes, the most common and effective way to treat seasonal influenza is vaccination  – and it’s not something new. Vaccinations have been used for as long as 60 years for treating seasonal flu, so it is safe, tried, and tested. However, you need to get vaccinated every year because the flu virus is constantly changing and evolving. So last year’s flu shot may not be fully effective against the changed flu strain of this year. They evolve faster than we do!
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Who should get flu vaccine first?
It is always better to be safe than sorry, so I suggest everyone should consult their doctor to understand the need for vaccination. Most prominently, WHO recommends the following groups of people for annual vaccination:
- Pregnant women
- Infants from 6 months to 5 years
- Senior citizens (above 65 years)
- Anyone with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, asthma etc.
- Healthcare workers
If you’re thinking – why should we get vaccinated?
As per WHO, influenza or seasonal flu severely affects 30-60 lakh individuals with 2.9 to 6.5 lakh annual deaths , globally. And not just that – as per the research in developing countries, 99% of the deaths in children under the age of 5 occur because of influenza-related lower respiratory tract infections. Are you still thinking of taking this lightly?
Seasonal flu is common and easily mistaken for the common cold. It’s safe and easy to prevent it than suffer the consequences, even more so now than ever before, with our immunity and nutrient level reaching an all-time low due to the current COVID-19 situation.
As per WHO, the best time to get vaccinated in India starts from this monsoon season . It doesn’t take much to check with your doctor about flu vaccination for you and your family right away before the monsoon hits North India.
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Let’s do our part and stay one step ahead of the virus.
It’s your friends and family – keep them safe and healthy.
The onus lies on all of us.
We must #PreventWhatCanBePrevented because flu is preventable with vaccination.