What Precautions Should You Take to Avoid Seasonal Fever?
Are you feeling weary or experiencing body aches?
Are you suffering from a runny nose, rising body temperature, severe headache, and sore throat?
These are the hallmark symptoms of seasonal flu.
Generally, seasonal fever starts spreading at the turn of autumn (September to December) and winter (December to February) seasons. According to UAE health authorities, the flu season stretches from September to April. Flu viruses thrive in cool weather; thus, seasonal fever spikes the most in the winter. As per the trend, flu cases peak in February and the first half of March.
As the season changes, various viral infections cause fever, excruciating body aches, and muscle pain. Children and senior citizens are most prone to being affected by the flu due to their weak immune systems.
What is seasonal flu?
Seasonal flu is a transmissible respiratory illness caused by a virus. With the change in the season, weather pattern changes, and the viruses circulating in the air attack a person’s immune system.
Symptoms of seasonal flu
Seasonal flu is highly infectious. A person infected by the flu virus experience few or all of the following symptoms. The symptoms can be mild or severe.
- Increased body temperature
- Reduced blood pressure
- Chills and shivers
- Loss of taste and appetite
- Fatigue and Fussiness
- Body aches due to sore muscles, inflammation, and painful joints
- Sweating and dehydration
- Headache and dizziness
- Skin rashes
- Red and dim eyes
- Other severe infections include ear infections, Urinary tract infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis, bronchitis, etc.
Causes of flu
The small infectious agents, called viruses, can infect anyone who inhales the tiny particles of fluid released by an infected person through coughing, sneezing, talking, or yawning. One can also get infected by touching their mouth, nose, and eyes after exposure to contaminated surfaces or objects.
Is seasonal flu dangerous?
Every year thousands of people are affected by seasonal fever or Influenza. The virus infects and multiplies within the body’s cells and impacts the respiratory system. Though it is not fatal, it can sometimes lead to hospitalization. Typically, the flu doesn’t endure for more than two weeks, and the infection recedes at an average pace depending on the type of flu virus. In some rare case flu virus can also adversely affect overall health by infecting the lungs, ears, sinuses, etc.
How to prevent flu?
The best way to avoid getting infected by the seasonal flu is to get flu vaccine shots every year. Everyone is at risk of flu as it is contagious; however, one can reduce the risk and the collateral complications through yearly vaccination and preventive measures.
How does the flu vaccine work?
The flu vaccine immunizes our body against the viruses that cause seasonal Influenza, and it is the most simple, safe, and effective way to protect against the flu proactively.
It contains weak or inactive parts of influenza viruses(antigens) that stimulate antibodies. The antibodies protect against viruses and strengthen the immune system. It uses the natural defenses of the patient’s body and builds resistance against infections within two weeks of vaccination.
When the flu vaccine is injected, the antigen starts training the body to recognize the virus, and the immune system produces the antibodies to fight and destroy the virus before it can make you sick.
Types of vaccines
There are three types of vaccines for the flu:
- The standard quadrivalent vaccine
- Two immune-response boosters for adults older than 65.
- Needle-free influenza vaccine.
Who should be vaccinated?
A flu shot isn’t mandatory, but it is advisable for everyone above six months of age to receive a flu vaccine every year. The annual flu vaccine is essential to protect ourselves from the virus and others around us by preventing the spread of the virus.
Certain people are at higher risk of flu infection and complications. Elderly (above 65 years), Infants (above six months), pregnant women, HIV and AIDS patients, Hajj and Umra pilgrims, adults and children with chronic illness and auto-immune disorders like cancer, kidney problems, pulmonary and heart problems, diabetics, obese, must necessarily get the flu vaccination.
When should you get vaccinated, and how long does immunity last?
Getting immunized before the community spread is a sure shot way to keep the seasonal fever at bay. Ideally, one must get the vaccination just before the season change. The flu vaccine safeguards people for at least six months. However, the shot’s efficacy declines over time due to lowered antibody levels and mutated flu virus strains circulating yearly. Factors determining the Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) are the health and age of the patient.
What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?
Flu vaccines are safe and effective. These vaccines have been extensively tested for years and licensed after multiple trial phases. The flu vaccines are upgraded yearly to protect against the principal and new strains of the virus.
Though flu vaccines do not result in adverse aftereffects, it does have minor and temporary side effects such as:
- Swelling in the injected area.
- Redness or pain due to the shot
- Low-grade fever and headache
- Sore muscles
Along with vaccination, people must also maintain basic hygiene and take preventive measures to protect themselves from the clutches of seasonal flu.
- Wear a mask in public and cover your mouth and nose while coughing, sneezing, and yawning.
- Wash hands with soap frequently and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects.
- Stay away from people if you are feeling sick. Also, keep your distance from people who show flu symptoms.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth to avoid spreading the virus.
- Follow a healthy routine, consume a balanced diet, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep,
- In case of any symptoms, consult a doctor instead of self-medicating
Where to get the flu vaccine?
You can get vaccinated at our Medical Centre. This multi-specialty center offers top-notch medical service for all minor to grave ailments. Healthcare workers strive to provide the utmost care and attention to their patients, and our doctors have unparalleled expertise in diagnosis, preventive medicines, and immunization. If you are showing any symptoms of seasonal flu, you can book an appointment at 7DMC to seek medical advice and treatment.
The Bottom Line
Vaccination is the cornerstone to curb the spread of the influenza virus during the flu season. It helps the immune system to form antibodies against the flu virus and fight back when attacked by the same.
Even though the flu vaccination doesn’t guarantee complete protection from the flu, it reduces the risk of illness by 40 to 60 percent. If you get sick even after being immunized, the symptoms will be milder than they would have been otherwise.
A wise man once said, “Don’t wait for illness to value wellness.” Vaccination and a holistic and healthy lifestyle are the safest and most effective ways to prevent disease. Rather than curing the fever after it occurs, vaccines prevent us from encountering the flu itself.