How to Protect Yourself During Flu Season
Flu season is here; do you know how to protect yourself from the face of the influenza virus?
The flu season is here, and that means you are at a higher risk of contracting the influenza virus and catching the flu. But just because you have a high chance of getting sick, that doesn’t mean you are powerless in reducing your chances. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from the flu this flu season.
What is the flu?
The flu is a virus that comes in many different strains. A virus is composed of genetic material that’s encased in protein. The influenza virus is an airborne pathogen that targets the respiratory system and attacks the cells located there. It invades your cells and reprograms them to create more viruses that spread throughout your body and to others when you cough, sneeze, or wipe your nose.
How can I protect myself?
There are a number of ways you can protect yourself. One of the best ways is to wash your hands consistently, especially after coughing or sneezing. The best way to defend yourself from the flu is by getting the flu shot every year. The flu shot is meant to protect you from the three or four viruses you are most likely to get that year. Viruses mutate and change, plus there are many of them, so make sure to get it every year.
What is in a vaccine?
A vaccine is composed of “dead” or weak influenza cells. Because they are dead and/or weak, your body is able to create the necessary antibodies faster and more efficiently–rendering your body immune to those specific viruses. Once you are immune to one virus, you are immune from that virus for the rest of your life.
Note: The nasal-spray form of the vaccine should not be used for 2016.