The Flu Shot or Not?
When the winter season approaches, many people are faced with many tough decisions. One of those decisions is whether or not to get the flu shot for themselves and their family. The flu is an infectious virus that affects millions of people each year. It is characterized by body aches, fever, coughing and fatigue. Infants, children, elderly people and those who have illness that affect the immune system are more likely to develop the flu. I go back and forth with this decision every year wondering what is the best thing to do. The pediatrician practically sets the appointment for you.Most cases of the flu are not serious and the people affected usually recover within a few weeks. However, some people never recover and end up dieing from the flu. The Center for Disease Control Estimates that anywhere from 3,000 to 50,000 people die from the flu each year. People have to be cognizant of the fact that there are pros and cons to the flu shot. Below are some of the pros and cons of the flu shot:
Pros:* Can reduce the number of days missed from work*
*Can reduce doctor visits*
* Can reduce the risk of developing an upper respiratory infection by up to 25 percent*
Cons:*Not 100 percent effective*
*Can actually make a person sick* (Many people develop flu-like symptoms within a few days of getting the flu shot).
*Contains additives and may not be safe for people who have certain allergies.
Experts advise that infants, young children, pregnant women, elderly people, health care workers and other groups of people who are at risk for the flu to get the shot. Those who have older children should ask a physician about whether a flu shot is right for their child.
Healthy people who are considering getting the flu shot should weight the pros and the cons. If a person feels the pros outweigh the cons, he or she should get the flu shot. If that person feels that the cons outweigh the pron, then he or she should not get the flu shot.
There are numerous things that people can do to prevent the flu without getting a shot. Below are some of those things:
*Wash hands frequently*- The importance of washing hands cannot be underestimated. It is one of the best things that people can do to prevent the spread of germs. Children should be taught how and why to wash their hands at a very young age.
*Avoid contact with sick people*. Staying away from sick people can prevent a person from becoming ill.
*Eating a healthy diet*. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can prevent the flu by boosting the immune system.
*Exercise*. Studies have shown that people who exercise for at least 30 minutes per day are less likely to become ill.
*Rest*. Most people need about 7-8 hours of rest per night to stay healthy.