Nothing to get all excited about. I am talking about FLU SEASON. It’s here and it’s here early. Have you ever seen the movie “Contagion”? Now, THAT is a scary movie. One of the lines that Kate Winslet says, “The average person touches their face two to three thousand times a day. Three to five times every waking minute. In between, we’re touching doorknobs, water fountains, elevator buttons and each other.” EEEK!
Back in October, my boyfriend, who works at a hospital, got his flu shot and URGED me to get mine. “I will, I will,” I said. As most of you know, I am surrounded by little germs all day. And by germs, I mean children. So, the flu shot is kind of a must for me. The fact that people are getting it in early November, should be a sign that it’s going to be bad and it’s a must for you, too. Now, I know some people are against vaccines. I mean, I can’t even remember the last time I got a flu shot before now. I can be a big baby about needles.
A common myth is that getting the flu vaccine will give you the flu. I always thought that as well. My boyfriend claimed that as a myth and I looked into it. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu illness. If you get a flu shot, you will be getting one that has an INACTIVE flu virus, or no virus at all. BUT some minor side effects could be soreness of where the shot was given, low-grade fever or aches. But it CAN make you sick if you get the vaccine when you are already sick. If you have a fever or on the mend from being sick, wait. Getting the vaccine while your body is already fighting an illness, CAN make you feel worse.
Another important fact about getting the flu shot is not only does it lower your chances of getting the flu, but it also means that you cannot be a carrier of the illness. Even if you don’t have flu symptoms, you can carry it to other people. Small children and people over 65 are the most at risk and should get a flu shot. Everyone else can play the germ game all winter.
So, after my entire family got the flu this past week, I decided it was time to get the flu shot. It was like the walking dead at my house. Coughing, moaning and noses being blown in every part of the house. Monday night, I only left my room to take shower. The good part of that was I got a lot of stuff organized. The bad part is I realized, “Wait a minute! Why am I the one quarantined to one room? THEY should have to stay in THEIR rooms.” Well, by that time the house was already infected. So, I decided to stayed at my boyfriends for a few days. I did eventually have to go home to get a couple things but I wore this (thanks to my boyfriend).
Whether you decide to get the flu shot or not, you should always wash your hands after touching doorknobs, touching money, before and after you eat, and especially if you come in contact with someone who is sick, etc.
UIC’s Wellness Center has some further information:
Stay well my friends!