Columbus Women’s Care hopes that the only chills you have this holiday season are when you open a thoughtful gift from someone special, rather than from the onset of the flu. Many of us start preparing for the celebrations in early fall, and this is also the time when we should get vaccinated. We recommend that people get their shots in early Fall because the vaccination can take up to two weeks to build the necessary antibodies, but this timeline does not work for everyone. Busy schedules and long lists of priorities may mean that getting our influenza vaccinations gets set aside. Fortunately, you still have time to get a flu shot and build the antibodies before the holidays are in full swing.
Am I at Risk for Getting Influenza?
The virus begins making rounds in the United States in October and can linger until late Spring. Estimates indicate that the flu can affect 5% to 20% of the population, and the symptoms can make you miserable for up to two weeks. Severe cases may lead to hospitalizations and more serious complications. You can contract influenza if you come within six feet of someone who has the virus. Influenza is spread when someone coughs, sneezes and talks. It can be shared as soon as someone contracts the virus, and symptoms may not develop for up to seven days. This means that a person without symptoms can pass the virus to you. Because you are spending more time shopping and socializing during this time of year, your chances of getting the virus may increase significantly.
How Can I Protect My Friends and Family from the Flu?
Getting your vaccination is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy this holiday season. Children under five year’s old, pregnant women and adults over 65 are more prone to contract influenza, and this may represent many of your friends and family. You can also encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated. If you do develop symptoms of the flu, you should stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever breaks. This includes avoiding any situations where you could pass the virus to others, with the exception being to receive any necessary medical care.
Don’t Let the Flu Ruin Your Holidays. Contact Columbus Women’s Care.
To schedule your influenza vaccination and learn about our other women’s health services, contact Columbus Women’s Health. You can use our online patient portal or contact us directly at (614) 755-4200 to schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient locations.