We’re already quite deep into flu season. This can leave a lot of us despairing if we neglected to get our shot at the start of the season. After all, all the paranoia that flares up the moment we hear someone coughing nearby does serve a purpose in that it is us trying to keep healthy. The good news is that it is never too late to work against the flu whether you’re trying to protect yourself from it or trying to fight it off right now. As much of an annoyance as it is, the flu remains a relatively easily treatable disease in most of its forms. You can follow the advice of eating well, getting plenty of sleep, and drinking lots of water to help move back towards health or seek a doctor to help you get something to ease the symptoms. The important point here is that you can always work against it. If you’re uncertain on what you can do or why you should do something, try taking a closer look with us to see if we can change your mind about working to take care of yourself.
There are a lot of arguments that people bring up about vaccines that don’t really make that much sense when you start looking into it. Let’s review some of the common objections to getting the flu shot and see if there’s any truth to them. For starts, a lot of people claim they don’t really work. That’s a tricky proposition when it comes to the flu shot simply because “flu” isn’t actually a single disease. The flu shot is made of weakened versions of multiple strains of the illness. It gets mixed each year ahead of flu season with the best guesses as to what will be prevalent. Sometimes the guesses are wrong. It doesn’t mean the vaccine doesn’t work. Other try to avoid it as they’re sure it will make them sick. Generally, the flu strains in the shot are so weak the worst you might have is the sniffles for an evening or two while your immune system takes note of what it is fighting this year, kicks them out, and returns to business as usual. Some people do get ill, but it is a minority population whose immune systems are typically already strained.
Wait, Vaccines are Bad!
This argument is a little frustrating to the medical profession. A lot of bad “research” has gone into supposedly discrediting vaccines as including harmful chemicals. This tends to center largely on childhood vaccines, but has leaked over into adult flu shots and similar treatments as well. A lot of the time the arguments center on discredited claims of the chemical contents of various treatments. In general, pretty much every shot you could get, including true vaccines, no longer has anything people have objected to within it. A popular one for childhood vaccines was that a mercury derivative in it was dangerous despite all reputable research showing it was truly harmless. Yes, vaccines and flu shots are a bit unnerving because we don’t entirely understand what is going into them. The amount of research done on the technology and the drastic ways it has improved lives through the elimination of diseases like polio is a clear sign that they’re safe for us all with a few rare exceptions due to highly specific allergies. Seriously, get your flu shot if you want to try to avoid the flu for the rest of flu season.
Getting your flu shot isn’t going to do you much good if you’re already sick though. Since all forms of the flu are viruses, there isn’t much we can actually do to outright kill them. Most of the time treating yourself for the flu simply involves taking good care of yourself. Getting rest, plenty of fluids, and taking over the counter medications are all about helping to manage the symptoms while giving your body the push it needs to work on making you healthier. There are some other things you can do though. You’ll definitely want to look into ways to calm your cough for both your sake and those around you. Generally, all this takes is ensuring that you have cough syrup or lozenges available while also taking an expectorant. The combination will make it easier on you when you cough while also reducing the reason you’re coughing. Take some time to sit in a warm bath. Steam helps to lessen your experience of congestion. Beyond that, you just have to stick to taking care of yourself and trying not to infect others.
The flu is a pain regardless of when or how you get it. It means bed rest for a lot of us, but perhaps that just makes it a good time to binge watch our favorite new shows or catch up on our reading. There’s no real excuse to avoid getting your flu shot though unless you have a compromised immune system or a rare allergy. Most of the time you’re going to know if you meet one or both of those exceptions. Take care of yourself with preventive measures so that you don’t end up needing to deal with tackling flu the hard way.