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It's never too late to get your flu vaccine

Influenza, or the flu, is a seasonal virus that affects the predominantly respiratory system. Vaccination is important for people at risk of severe illness from the flu. Part of being a parent is the instinctive desire to give children all the protection they need no matter how old they are. But have we ever realized that adults along with children should also take flu vaccines.

Updated Jun 19, 2020 05:27 AM

It's never too late to get your flu vaccine

Dr. Kishore Kumar, Chairman and Neonatologist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals explains: Influenza is a viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs. It is highly contagious and children are particularly at risk of contracting it because their immune system is not strong; and spreading it because they come in contact with a lot of other children at school or at the playground.

"Flu comes on suddenly and first signs of it are a feeling of extreme tiredness followed by high fever, headache, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose and sore muscles. The potential for transmission is highest at this point because if any other person inhales droplets in a cough, sneeze or runny nose from a flu infected person, the virus is passed on. You can also get the flu by touching something on which these droplets have fallen such as doorknobs, television remotes and computer keyboards if these surfaces are not kept clean."

The Influenza vaccine is the best protection against getting the flu, he points out. Adults and children who get the flu vaccine are less likely to contract the virus and even if they do, it results only in a mild attack, which is easy to overcome with no complications of any kind, he adds.

"It is important to note that there are several strains of the flu virus, some of which are more prevalent each year, so you and your family should take the WHO approved annual vaccine before the flu season. Every child older than 6 months should receive the vaccine. So should the parents and other caregivers. This is a simple and highly effective preventive measure, which greatly reduces the risk of getting or spreading the flu. The new quadrivalent vaccine protects against both influenza A and B serotypes."

Dr Kumar lists down some precautionary measures that parents can take to keep flu at bay:

Strengthen your children's immunity by ensuring they get a daily diet rich in nutrition.

Make sure they get plenty of sleep.

Exercise has emerged as the best protection for a host of diseases and the sooner children are given the habit of daily exercise, the better. Due to the ongoing pandemic, it is best to engage children with indoor exercises and limit the outside exposure.

Should a member of your family get the flu, keep others away from the infected person and consult your local doctor without delay.

The expert suggests: You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begin spreading in your community, since it takes about a week or two, after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. It is often mistaken for the common cold but can quickly assume a virulent and serious form. Pregnant women are especially prone to the worst disease, with higher risk of baby dying in utero and worse, they get very very sick, if they get the flu from our previous epidemic/pandemic experiences. To eliminate all worry it is best to take the annual vaccination and provide this readily available protection to the entire family. Encourage your friends and neighbours to do this as well so that the environment around you and your family is completely safe from flu.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media