Everyone is at risk for getting influenza, but there are groups more at risk for complications: Elderly patients (65+), pregnant women, young children, asthmatics, and patients with COPD, coronary artery disease, diabetes, or compromised immune systems, as well as those with other chronic health conditions that may make one susceptible to illness.
Vaccination is indicated for those 6 months of age and above annually beginning ideally in September. Antibodies start to develop two weeks after vaccination.
According to Dr. Peter Liloia at Premier Health Associates, “Vaccination reduces risk of influenza associated complications and hospitalizations secondary to illness. Studies have shown that vaccinations have reduced deaths, ICU admissions and duration of hospital stays. Vaccination may also protect others around you that may be more vulnerable to significant illness.”
Other ways to prevent the contracting and spreading influenza include:
- Avoiding close contact with those that are sick
- Staying at home if sick (do not go to school or work)
- Proper hygienic practice ( covering mouth when cough or sneeze, frequent hand washing, avoid touching eyes/nose/mouth)
- Getting a proper amount of sleep
- Exercising and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle