Should You Get a Flu Shot?

Should You Get a Flu Shot?

The flu season is upon us, and it has been especially vicious this year. But that is not the worst news. The CDC says that this year’s infection is widespread, but declares that available vaccine is only 23 percent effective.

Forty-six states are reporting heavy outbreaks of influenza. The current strain is H3N2 Influenza A. It accounts for 95 percent of cases. The vaccine available this year lacks the ability to fight this strain efficiently. This is the same strain which occurred during the 2012-2013 season.

Why is there a ‘flu season?’ No one is precisely sure. Science has not isolated a singular reason why it happens, and why the outbreak occurs during the winter months. The simple answer is that people spend more time indoors during colder months, and are likely to be in closer contact with others.

Should you get a flu shot? The CDC says ‘yes.’ If you receive the vaccine, you have a nearly 25 percent greater chance of avoiding infection, or at least suffering less severe symptoms.

Whether or not you decide to be vaccinated, there are five things everyone should do to avoid becoming infected.


If you know someone is sick, avoid any close contact.

If you become infected, stay at home; avoid work or school.

Use a tissue to cover your nose or mouth when you cough or sneeze. Influenza is airborne.

Washing your hands frequently is paramount. People tend to touch their face frequently and the flu is easily transmitted.

Be aware that it is common to touch eyes, mouth and nose, and make a conscious effort to avoid the habit.


At the first sign that you have become infected, stay home and drink lots of clear liquids; water and tea. Although flu sufferers often complain of not having an appetite, it is important to eat several small meals daily.

By James Turnage





Photo courtesy of Drew Leavy

Flickr License

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