How to Protect Yourself and Others during Flu Season

Published: 02-07-2024 | 1 MIN READ | Author: Prism Health North Texas

Science has made great advancements in improving our overall health and well-being. One of the most significant advancements is the development of vaccines. Vaccines help protect us and our communities from diseases, which are often the diseases we have a high chance of encountering. The 2022-23 flu season saw 31 million cases, 360,000 hospitalizations, and 21,000 deaths due to the flu. This is why the flu vaccine is one of the most essential vaccines to consider getting every year.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. While most cases are mild, the flu can cause severe complications and even death, particularly in vulnerable populations like the elderly, young children, and individuals with compromised immune systems. Getting a flu shot significantly reduces the severity of symptoms if you become infected. By getting the flu shot, we not only protect ourselves from severe illness but also keep hospitalizations down and lessen the burden on healthcare systems and resources during flu seasons.

One of the critical aspects of public health is preventing the spread of infectious diseases. The flu is easily transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, or talks. Even those who may not experience severe symptoms can unknowingly pass the virus on to others. By getting vaccinated, individuals can reduce their chances of getting sick and reduce the spread of the flu to vulnerable populations. A collective effort to get vaccinated can significantly decrease the overall transmission rate of the flu, protecting the whole community.

Building herd immunity is another significant benefit of getting a flu shot. Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a population is immunized, making it challenging for the disease to spread and protecting those who are unable to receive the vaccine, either due to medical conditions or age restrictions. By choosing to get vaccinated, we create a buffer of protection around those who may experience severe flu-related complications. Getting vaccinated is an act of compassion that can save lives by preventing the flu virus from reaching those at risk.

The 2020-2021 flu season saw record-low infections due to the COVID-19 global health crisis and the increased number of people sheltering at home and wearing a mask in public. It’s crucial to remember these lessons and recognize the importance of preventative healthcare measures. If you are not able to reduce your time around other people or wear a mask during the flu season, getting the annual flu shot is a simple yet powerful strategy to still protect yourself and others.

We hope you will join the fight against the flu by getting your annual flu shot. Together we can create a healthier and safer environment for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.



Disease Burden of Flu – CDC

Key Facts About Influenza – CDC

Flu shot: Your best bet for avoiding influenza

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Author: Prism Health North Texas

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