Preventive measures against Influenza for Adults and Children

preventive influenza vaccine

Prevention is better than cure; how preventive measures against influenza facilitated our ‘back-to-normal’ journey!

The world is in recovering mode from the onslaught of the pandemic, and things are looking hopeful. In April, schools reopened in Mumbai after a hiatus of 2.5 years. Shall we send kids below the age of 12 years to school without preventive vaccination, was on every parent’s mind. A few parents were ready to send their wards from day one, others adopted a wait and watch strategy.

I was wary of the situation too, nevertheless, I sent my child with proper protection and advisory of dos and don’ts. Apart from the pandemic, the threat of falling prey to seasonal flu and infections was my second biggest worry. It was time to talk to a health care expert and seek professional advice.

The doctor advised me to get seasonal influenza shots for adults and children to rest the worry, and I was more than happy to oblige. Seasonal flu or influenza can be easily misinterpreted as common cold and cough, but it is more dangerous and can lead to complications if not treated at the right time.1

What is Influenza and who is at risk?

Influenza is a viral infection caused by the influenza virus that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs. Influenza and the common cold are often used interchangeably but they’re not the same. It is a highly contagious respiratory infection that may cause mild to severe illness in people who are at risk2 i.e.

  • Children under the age of 5 years2
  • Adults older than age 652
  • Healthcare workers – who come in direct contact with the patients2
  • Pregnant women and new mothers with babies smaller than 6 months2
  • People with weakened immune systems2
  • People with chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease and diabetes2

Symptoms of influenza

Influenza usually comes on suddenly and those who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:2

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills2
  • Cough2
  • Sore throat2
  • Runny or stuffy nose2
  • Muscle or body aches2
  • Headaches2
  • Fatigue (tiredness)2
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.2

It is vital to get a proper diagnosis before treating the flu. Anyone who comes in contact of an infected person can get affected as it is highly contagious. Flu spreads through tiny droplets when infected people sneeze, cough or talk.2

preventive measures against influenza

When to see a Doctor?

The short answer to this question is: as soon as you get any of the flu symptoms!

This is not to press the panic button, but if you feel the symptoms mentioned above or come in the at-risk category, you must not treat yourself and others at home and immediately consult a doctor.

Apart from this, you can also take preventive measures like annual flu vaccination for anyone aged 6 months or older. A dedicated Facebook session by Dr Sadanand Shetye and Dr Mangesh Tiwaskar explained the importance of annual influenza vaccination in easy language that prompted us to get the flu shot at the earliest to #FightAgainstFlu.

Influenza shot in adults, children and at-risk people prevents hospitalization and also frequent doctor visits. Flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu and its potentially serious complications.3 Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable.

Conclusion

The flu viruses are constantly changing. In the past, we have seen how viruses can mutate and pose even more severe danger than their original self. It’s one of the reasons annual influenza vaccination is recommended. Influenza shot for adults, children and at-risk people is the best answer to seasonal flu infections.

References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/symptoms-causes/syc-20351719
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccine-benefits.htm
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm
Important Disclaimer

The content is not for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Copyright

©Dipika Singh. This article is the property of the site’s author. Any unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dipika Singh (Gleefulblogger). With the right and specific direction to the original content.

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36 Comments

  1. It’s good that the flu vaccine also updates according to the mutation of the virus.

    1. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Yes those who are vulnerable should definitely check with their doctors about the flu vaccine.

    1. Everyone must talk to the expert and further advice on this. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Recently, I have experienced the same situtation in my home. Every member of my family was falling sick one by one, which was not commom we went for health checkup and doctor recommended to take shots age wise. It seems its spreading to everybody. Thank You for sharing.

    1. Glad you found this relateable, thank you for stopping by.

  4. It is important to understand how harmful the contagious flu can be. So to take preventive measures after consulting the doctor will be vital to fight against flu.

  5. A very informative post on influenza. I’m sure many will benefit from reading it. The flu can cause severe illness and even death in some people, particularly young children, older adults, and those with certain chronic health conditions.

    1. Agreed! Glad you like it.

  6. Ignoring flu is a common thing. However, taking proper medical advice and getting the right vaccination at the right time is necessary.

  7. Shreemayee Chattopadhyay

    Basically we don’t give much importance to flu. We just take it as common cold and don’t visit any doctor. Thus it becomes deadly, especially for children or elderly persons. Proper medication and some preventive measures are vital. Very important article indeed.

  8. Awareness about Influenza is all the more relevant these days. With various diseases including COVID, Monkey pox etc coming up knowing what is what is vry important

  9. You are right that first we must recognise the problem, but the thin line between flu and common cold leads to confusion. It is always safe to have precautionary vaccination to avoid serious circumstances.

  10. It’s so important today to understand that we are so responsible for ourselves and our family’s health and that nothing should be taken lightly. Thanks for sharing the right information about flu !!

  11. As they say prevention is better than cure; its prudent to take flu vaccinations as a preventive measure. And I must say, its a well researched blog .

  12. After reading your article I realised that it’s hard to determine the difference between common flu and influenza. I will be more watchful now and definitely consider vaccination.

  13. Influenza can be really debilitating. I think that when one can prevent it, one should do so. The Influenza vaccine is definitely something that we all need to take and prevent the infection.

  14. Ignoring the flu is common. Proper medical advice and receiving the appropriate vaccination at the right time are needed. I will keep all these pointers in mind. Thanks for sharing the correct information about flu.

  15. Ignoring the flu is common. But we should take Proper medical advice and take the appropriate vaccination at the right time . I will keep all these pointers in mind. Thanks for sharing the correct information about flu.

    1. Thank you for appreciating.

  16. Very useful information! It’s worth knowing about specially during these times thanks for sharing will spread the word

    1. Glad you like it. Thank you.

  17. Influenza has the capability of wearing you down and sending your immune system into shock
    So if we can avoid it we should .
    Thank you for sharing this

    1. Absolutely true and if not taken serious it may turn bad.

  18. I’m not against vaccines but I also do think that if there’s a chance for us not to get one and still maintain ourselves healthy, then that’s the route that we should get. Medicine is still medicine which has been formulated in a lab and can bring various side effects on our body. Going natural, eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle should keep you away from flu and not need vaccines.

  19. Oh because of this heavy rainy season, there’s influenza spread everywhere. From adults to kids everyone facing difficulties. This article will help in finding the type of influenza and take the correct measures.

    1. Yes, it is essential to go for timely vaccination.

  20. Given the varied changes in the season, it becomes difficult to differentiate the symptoms of flu or common cold. It’s important to create more awareness and preventive measures around influenza

  21. Honestly I have never heard of this and not aware of this. I got to know so many things from this post. Such an information article. Thank you.

    1. Glad you found this informative.

  22. That’s such a informative post. I agree vaccinations is a good way of protecting from flu. I am very sensitive to cold I take flu vaccinations every year.

  23. You are right we should first recognise the problem and Proper medical advice and vaccination is must . Going natural and eat healthy is a better option to maintain our immunity . Thanks and congratulations to you it a well researched and very well explained blog

    1. Glad this was useful.

  24. Thanks for talking about this important topic and spreading awareness about the same. Really an informative article. Keep up the good work.

  25. Flu or influenza is often seen as a common cold and not given much importance. However, it can be deadly, especially for children or elderly persons. Proper medication is really important and some preventive measures are vital. This is a very important and useful article.

    1. Glad you like it, thank you.

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