5 Surprising Facts about Flu Shots

I know we talked about employee flu shots in our last post – but the season is upon us! Most of us in Kansas City will soon be turning on the heaters and getting out the quilts if we haven’t done so already.

Not only is the weather changing, but flu season is now being ushered in, as well. The CDC says flu season runs typically from October through the end of January. It’s a respiratory virus with potentially dangerous consequences, especially for children and older individuals.

Facts about Flu Shots

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Facts about Flu Shots may surprise you

Most people have an opinion about flu shots – they’re either all for them, or not for them. And while it’s understood most have an opinion based on the past … and not really their involvement with the flu … I thought the following facts about flu shots might surprise you. I know they did me…

1. Flu Shots became HIGHLY recommended in 2010.

This was surprising to me, and began to make a lot of sense on why there seems to be such opposition to flu shots with some people. Many opt not to get a flu shot because they didn’t grow up getting them as kids. But, just as childhood vaccinations have continued to change with new research – so has new data about flu and preventing influenza in your home. Especially with the H1N1 outbreak a few years past. The CDC compiled all of the statistical data and research to determine the recommendation for everyone over 6 months of age get a flu shot.

2. Flu Shots Don’t Give you the Flu.

So many people assume that when you get a flu shot, you are injected with a little bit of the flu, and as your body fights it off, that’s how the shot can help protect you all season long. But that’s not how it works – with a flu shot, you’re actually given a shot full of antibodies that have already fought the flu. Flu shots consists of antibodies that fight three strands of flu viruses that the CDC predicts will hit the population each flu season. If you experience some soreness, drowsiness or even a low-grade fever – you’ve not just been given the flu. You may just be experiencing your body producing more flu-fighting antibodies.

3. A Shot Isn’t your Only Option for Preventing Flu.

The actual shot administration is the most common known way to prevent the flu – it’s the easiest way to protect yourself and your family against the influenza virus. However, nasal sprays have also hit the market and are available to some who can’t bear the thought of needles. This “Pick your Nose” campaign by the inter-nasal flu vaccine company is actually pretty hilarious.

4. Influenza isn’t the same as “Stomach Flu”

You may associate “flu” with vomiting and diarrhea. However, flu is actually a respiratory infection that begins in the nose. Flu attacks the nose, chest and air passageways. Its danger comes from the risk of causing infections, particularly pneumonia. When vomiting and diarrhea occur, that’s more likely because of a bacterial or viral infection in the digestive tract – not necessarily the respiratory version of the flu.

5. The Flu is Very Contagious – And we mean Very.

We all know that viruses like flu are contagious. But did you realize that adults can be contagious for up to 7 days, and kids even 10 days? Flu spreads by drops of water or germs on surfaces. When you sneeze or cough, some of those drops may fall upon surfaces that others may touch. For seven days, if you have flu, you may infect other people with the virus. The best way to avoid this is to stay home, stay in bed, cough into Kleenex, and not expose anyone for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks.

Flu Shots in Kansas City

I’d heard a lot about “flu” and even formed my own opinions – but the more I learn about the disease, and the more research the CDC distributes, the more I see the need for flu vaccinations each year (they decrease in power each year.) If you’re in the Kansas City area and need a flu shot, please contact us. We provide on-site flu shots in Overland Park, as well as flu shots from our lab off Metcalf.¬† If you’re not local, contact your nearest ArcPoint Lab and get hooked up with your flu protection this season!

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