A 2019 Flu Season Guide

Alyssa Moore, Centurion Staff

Flu season is upon us. Chilly weather, holidays, and the inevitable head cold will be here before you know it. This is the time of year you hear the classical phrase, “Make sure to get your flu shot!”

The influenza virus infects millions of people worldwide each year. Influenza has multiple strains that affect both humans and animals alike.

The seasonal influenza vaccine has been able to lower the risk of a person getting the flu by half. Doctors say that getting the yearly flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the sickness.
The flu is a mild disease. If a healthy person comes down with the flu, they might be bed ridden for a few days and get prescribed antibiotics.

People who are more at risk of developing serious complications include pregnant women, infants and children, the elderly, and people with chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes.
Vaccines have been considered to be one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. But not everyone agrees with that.

Criticism towards vaccines isn’t new. Since the 1800s when vaccines were first being introduced, people found it unethical to protect someone from the small pox virus while injecting them with cowpox blisters. Some also stated that it was against their religion.

Today’s criticisms towards vaccines a somewhat different. Some people still claim religious reasons for not getting vaccinated, even though most modern-day religions do not condemn vaccines.
Misconceptions surrounding vaccines has caused eradicated diseases to come back. In 2002, measles was declared eradicated in the U.S. Then in 2014, the disease had found its way back into the country’s population. This year alone, more than 700 deaths in the United States are due to measles.

Measles has been proven to control germs’ abilities to fight diseases, especially in kids. Dr. Michael Mina told the Bucks County Courier Times that, “It’s doubly important to vaccinate children. It’s a vaccine that protects against the specific target (measles), but also against immune suppression.”

Some had allergic reactions to the shot or still got sick anyway and question the effectiveness of the vaccines. Others believe there isn’t a need to get a certain vaccine if the disease has been practically eliminated from the population. However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 56,000 people die from the flu or flu-like illness each year.
A controversial criticism towards vaccines that is well known is that they cause autism in children.

A mercury-based preservative called thimerosal that was used in some vaccines was thought to have caused autism. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the preservative did not cause autism.

As winter grows closer, we should be watching out for our health. The cold weather suppresses everyone’s immune system differently. So bundle up, cough into your shoulder, and get your flu shot from your doctor.