Winter weather is here, and with it comes plenty of seasonal fun to look forward to. From visiting with friends and loved ones to enjoying holiday festivities, there’s always something to do and someone to see. Unfortunately, this is also a time of year when flu cases spike. Because groups of people often get together for winter activities, flu viruses have ample opportunities to spread. Thankfully, vaccines are available to give you additional protection against flu viruses. Are you thinking about getting your seasonal flu shot in Columbus, OH? If so, it can help to understand the facts about flu vaccines and how they can keep you safer when cases rise. Learn more about the flu and flu vaccines with Mount Carmel Urgent Care.
1. There Are Multiple Influenza Strains
It may be surprising, but what’s commonly referred to as “the flu” is actually not a single virus. Instead, it’s a catch-all term that covers several different influenza strains. One or more strains may be especially widespread during a single flu season. But, all-new strains may emerge for the next flu season. This is why researchers review and observe flu data every year to determine the strains that are most likely to spread. This information is then used to create a seasonal flu vaccine that protects against those targeted strains.
2. Last Year’s Vaccine Won’t Protect Against This Year’s Flu
Flu vaccines are developed to protect against strains that are expected to be the most virulent for the season. This means that last year’s vaccine will likely offer little to no protection against this year’s flu strains. It’s a lot like updating the security software on your phone or computer. A single update won’t be enough to protect against new threats.
The concept is the same with your immune system. A single flu shot will not provide life-long protection. But, annual vaccination can update your immune system to deal with the season’s most threatening strains. In this way, getting your annual flu shot is one of the most effective methods of reducing your risk of catching the flu.
3. You Can Spread the Flu Without Showing the Common Symptoms
Some who become infected won’t show any of the symptoms commonly associated with the flu. These symptoms can include:
- Sore throat
- Headache/sinus pressure
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
- Feelings of tiredness/weakness
However, even if you don’t experience these symptoms, you can still spread influenza to others. This is another reason why annual flu shots are strongly recommended by the CDC. They don’t just protect you—they can also protect your loved ones and your community as well.
It’s Not Too Late to Get Your Flu Shot in Columbus
If you haven’t received your yearly flu shot yet, now is the time to take charge of your health. Mount Carmel Urgent Care provides fast and easy flu shot services in Columbus, OH. Simply check-in to the location nearest you and we will help you as quickly as possible. Also, remember that walk-ins are always welcome. So, if you want to keep yourself and those close to you protected this flu season, be sure to check-in to your nearest Mount Carmel Urgent Care.