Day of Answers - Flu Prevention
The coughing, the aches, the fever. Have you taken the number one precaution that helps protect you and your family from the misery of the flu this year? GBMC primary care physician, Dr. Jasmine Manley, talked with WMAR News’ Christian Schaffer about why it’s so important for people to get their flu shot every year and the other steps they can take to lower their risk of getting the flu.
“Everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot every year,” explained Dr. Manley. “The vaccine is especially important protection for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, people living with chronic diseases like diabetes, and those with weakened immune systems like people who’ve had an organ transplant, who regularly take steroid medications, or who have HIV. And even if the strain of flu in the vaccine isn’t a perfect match with this year’s virus, studies have shown that the vaccine still plays an important role in preventing the serious complications and deaths the flu can cause.”
Dr. Manley urged people to get vaccinated sooner rather than later, when the flu becomes more common, and explained why physicians recommend the shot rather than the FluMist nasal spray. She also debunked the myth that the flu vaccine causes the flu and provided advice on how long you or your kids should stay home when you have the flu.
“Even if you’re a healthy person and you’ve never gotten the flu, think about getting the vaccine as being a good Samaritan for the people in your family and community who are more vulnerable to the complications of the flu,” she said. “And if you do happen to get the flu, the vaccine can decrease the severity of the symptoms you experience.”