Flu Season’s Arrival Means It’s Time to Get Vaccinated

BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW AND BERNICE BORN

F

 


Source: CDC

lu season is here. WiRED International urges everyone to get vaccinated.

 

Influenza or flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by several viruses. Flu resembles the common cold because it infects the same organs (nose, throat, lungs) and has similar symptoms. However, the flu can develop additional symptoms and become much more severe than most common colds. Some high-risk groups are especially vulnerable to complications from the flu. They include children younger than two years, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, lung disease and heart disease.

 

Antiviral drugs are no substitute for vaccinations, but they offer an important second line of defense. Getting prompt treatment with antiviral drugs and staying home will lessen the duration of the flu by several days. This is especially important for members of high-risk groups. It is worth noting that antibiotics do nothing to address the flu because antibiotics address bacterial infections, and the flu is a viral infection.

 

Flu season in the northern hemisphere typically occurs between October and May. It can take up to three weeks for the vaccine to build up the body’s immunity, so schedule your flu shot today!

WiRED offers two flu modules in its Health Learning Center: one for health care professionals and one for grassroots audiences. The general audience module describes the flu, discusses who is at highest risk, how to prevent the flu and how to treat it. The module designed for health care workers and other health professionals offers a detailed examination of the three virus types that cause the flu. The course looks at issues such as virus structure, antigenic drift and antigenic shifting, compares seasonal and pandemic influenza, and presents additional resources for further study.

 

Flu season in the northern hemisphere typically occurs between October and May. It can take up to three weeks for the vaccine to build up the body’s immunity, so schedule your flu shot today!

 

 

 

 


Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do get a flu shot
  • Do wash your hands properly and regularly
  • Do avoid sick people
  • Do cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing
  • Do get antiviral drugs promptly when sick
  • Do keep hydrated and get lots of rest
  • Don’t take antibiotics (flu is caused by a virus, not a bacteria)
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t overload with cold remedies or exercise

 

 

Test your flu IQ with sample questions from WiRED’s module.

 

1. TRUE or FALSE? Not everyone with the flu will have a fever.

 True
 False

2. How long can people infect others after becoming sick with the flu virus?

 10 to 12 days
 1 to 2 days
 5 to 7 days
 2 to 3 days

3. How are flu viruses mainly spread?

 Through insect bites
 By water droplets infected with the virus
 Through food infected with the virus
 By touching something with the virus on it

 

 

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail 
              
              Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust.

 

 

^ Back to the Top

Donate

Thank you for donating to enable WiRED to continue its cost-free global health education programs.