Flu season is upon us! If you are wondering how to get a flu shot in Italy, or maybe wondering why you should even get inoculated, read on!

Influenza can cause serious health problems. The flu, as it is commonly known as, is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle fatigue, headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea. Sinus and ear infections, as well as pneumonia, are the more serious possible complications, followed by rare instances of heart, brain, or organ inflammation and/or failure. While children, the elderly, and immune-deficient persons, like those with chronic conditions such as asthma or heart disease, are most at risk, anyone can suffer health problems from contracting the flu virus. In 2010, the CDC estimates that over 700,000 were affected by the flu virus and the death toll for flu-related illness ranged between 12,000 – 56,000.

The flu virus spreads orally through particles in the air that were exhaled by infected persons. Incubation takes 1 – 4 days and sick persons are contagious for 1 – 7 days after becoming ill. Even if you don’t develop symptoms, those with the flu virus in their systems can spread it to others. To avoid contamination, stay away from sick people, wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and do not share linens or utensils with other people.

Flu season extends from October to May. The best way to stay healthy is to get a yearly flu shot by the end of October. Up to 5 million people per year avoid flu-related health problems due to taking the vaccine. The vaccine causes antibodies to develop inside the body around two week after vaccination. The most commonly used vaccine protects against the most common strains of influenza: H1N1, H3N2, and the influenza B virus. There is also a vaccine that protects against these three strains and an additional B virus. Vaccines are administered via an injection in the arm or a nasal spray. Most vaccines are suitable for people ages 18 – 64. For younger or older people, specialty vaccines are available.

the stages of a flu or cold

Yearly inoculation is important because the body’s immune response from vaccinations diminishes over time. Furthermore, new mutations in the flu virus necessitate up-to-date vaccine compositions. For the best protection, all persons 6 months and older should get vaccinated yearly. Note that it is not possible to get the flu from the vaccine since the vaccination contains no viral properties or virus particulates that are weakened or inactive. However, possible negative side effects from flu vaccination include soreness, fever. Still, no side effects are as egregious as the flu itself and typically last 1 – 2 days.

Contact MedinAction today, or see our previous blog post on Where To Get A Vaccine In Rome for more information on vaccination centers. Visit the CDC website for more information on influenza and vaccinations.

Remember, MedinAction doctors are just a call/text away to help you with your vaccination concerns, flu vaccine or otherwise! Call/write our doctors via Whatsapp (+39.32034065709), use the MedinAction iOS app, or contact us via the online chat at www.medinaction.com/.

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