Why you should not ignore the flu and take preventive measures

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Have you ever heard of a particular disease and believed that ‘this does not happen to me or my family’? That this is for others? Or you have heard the name of a disease but never bothered to know more about it because you were sure, you would never be affected by it? I thought all these things!

But as a mom, now I know how wrong I was! For me, flu and common cold meant the same thing. I never put in much thought about the disease nor did I bother to understand the difference or know the precautions to be taken. But when my younger child got the flu or influenza, reality hit hard and I realized how unprepared I was, especially when our whole household caught it.

What is Influenza or Flu?

Influenza is an illness caused by RNA viruses that infect the respiratory tract. In most people, the infection results in you getting a fever, cough, headache, fatigue and sore throat. Some of us could also develop nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea [1].  

Are influenza and the common cold the same?

In a digital meet-up that I attended recently, Dr. Yewale, former President, Indian Academy of Pediatrics, took us through the different ways we could tell the difference between the common cold and influenza.

He said that though the initial symptoms are similar, influenza and the common cold are not the same. To identify the flu, usually, lab tests are recommended apart from a physical checkup. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold and the symptoms are more intense. The common cold does not result in serious health issues whereas flu has the capacity to spiral into serious infections like pneumonia, respiratory complications, etc. if left unchecked [1]. 

I promise to stop flu- influenza

Simple tips to prevent the spreading of Flu[2]

  1. Ask children to wash hands with soap and water before eating and when touching nose, eyes or mouth. If soap and water is not available use a hand sanitizer. 
  2. Make your sick kids stay at home and take plenty of rest.
  3. Make sure that your child is hydrated by giving lots of liquids throughout the day. 

A few important things that you need to know about influenza.

There is an effective influenza vaccine available in the market which can protect you and your family from the flu. Influenza can be deadly, so don’t take it lightly or confuse it with the common cold. 

In the digital meet-up, Dr. Yewale also told us that an influenza vaccine is essential every year as the virus strain keeps modifying itself. Hence, a vaccine that is effective against the current virus modification is usually released by pharmaceutical companies close to the flu season [3].  This was new information for me and I was glad to know this.

You should remember that children below 8 years, people with asthma, heart diseases, lung diseases and anyone over the age of 60 years are at a higher risk of contracting this disease[4]. So make sure your children and everyone else in your family get their flu shots every year.

I saw at close quarters how my unpreparedness wreaked havoc in our daily lives. I took the flu as lightly as the common cold and unwittingly helped the flu spread to my older child also. Once the illness took over our household, we could see a quick difference in our health. When I read up about the flu and finally understood the severity of the disease from the doctor, it made me realize what a close call it had been. If a simple solution like a vaccine can help contain the flu and protect your children from this dangerous disease I would ask every parent to consider this and talk to their pediatrician.

As a mom, it is very important and good practice to get our children the flu shot every year. Get information from your doctor and protect your family with the flu vaccine.

#IPromiseToStopFlu for my child. You?

References

1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/coldflu.htm

2.https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/preventing.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fflu%2Fprotect%2Fpreventing.htm

3. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm

4. http://www.searo.who.int/india/topics/influenza/flu-fact-sheet-2019.pdf

Post Author: nehagpatwardhan

Neha Tambe is a freelance social media marketer, writer and influencer. I studied mass communication and worked in various capacities spanning from journalism, copywriting to social media marketing. Blogging from the past 4 years. Founder and Owner of nehatambe.com.

19 thoughts on “Why you should not ignore the flu and take preventive measures

    Ujjwal Mishra

    (November 8, 2019 - 11:10 am)

    Your article is really helpful, I have been through the same phase as you hence for my younger one i am regular with flushots.

    MeenalSonal

    (November 8, 2019 - 4:50 pm)

    Thanks for sharing how mistaking flu with common cold could be dangerous. Will consult our family doctor for the flu vaccine.

    Neha Sharma

    (November 9, 2019 - 3:48 pm)

    For a very long time, I thought the flu is nothing but a medical term for the common cold. This is quite an informative post and will be helpful for many people.

    Noor Anand Chawla

    (November 9, 2019 - 6:54 pm)

    This is a thoroughly informative post and is a must read for all. I will share it ahead too.

    Deepika

    (November 9, 2019 - 7:01 pm)

    Yeah! Agreed. it is important to get flu shots to avoid any further complications.

    Aishwarya Sandeep

    (November 10, 2019 - 6:46 am)

    Common cold may seem like a small thing but it can have a huge impact on kids. Better to consult a doctor and take the right vaccinations on time

    Papri Ganguly

    (November 11, 2019 - 7:57 am)

    Many diseases like viral fever, flue and infection is spreading during this transition period. So we need to take some good safety measures.

    Emman Damian

    (December 5, 2019 - 6:00 pm)

    Hydration is the key! Also, make sure that you are drinking Vitamin C rich fruit juices and also eating vegetables.

    Danielle

    (December 5, 2019 - 11:22 pm)

    The flu is NOTHING to mess with. The ONE year I didn’t get a flu shot, I came down with the worst flu of my life. I thought I was going to die. Some people do!

    Bill Sweeney

    (December 5, 2019 - 11:30 pm)

    This is helpful information. There are similarities between the flu and a cold, which is why we take it seriously whenever we start to become ill.

    Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    (December 6, 2019 - 6:44 pm)

    Me ttttooooo! I don’t want any of my loved ones breathing painfully around me.

    Myrah Duque

    (December 7, 2019 - 1:11 am)

    Staying hydrated and taking Vitamin C will resolve lots of problems. As well as having a healthy diet.

    Beeb Ashcroft

    (December 7, 2019 - 2:00 am)

    The flu can be a really nasty bug to catch. I am always careful of what I touch this time of year and always wash my hands.

    katrina Kroeplin

    (December 7, 2019 - 8:54 am)

    the flu shot is no joke. i get mine every year and so far so good. i make sure my kids get theirs every year as well.

    Nilakshi

    (December 7, 2019 - 9:39 am)

    This was such an informative post on flu. With the flu season on, this is definitely a must read article.

    Sarah M

    (December 7, 2019 - 3:33 pm)

    I often got flu in the winter. This year, I had my flu vaccination and I also do preventive measures. I am better this year as compared to the previous one. This post is perfect for this weather.

    Lily

    (December 8, 2019 - 4:24 pm)

    I’m glad I haven’t had the flu in a long time. That sickness is no joke.

      nehagpatwardhan

      (December 9, 2019 - 4:34 pm)

      True that

    […] collect statistics about common illnesses and that is when I came across some startling facts about influenza or flu.  For eg: Did you know […]

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