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Preventing the Flu During Winter

The flu is an infectious respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses. The outcomes of the illness can be mild to severe, mostly depending on people’s age and health conditions. The symptoms may include muscle pain, fever, runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, and cough, subsiding within a week. However, influenza can also cause severe complications and end in death. Yearly outbreaks of seasonal flu spread throughout the world during the cold time of the year. The timing and duration of the disease are not precisely determined, but it usually begins in late fall, lasting till the early spring. An outbreak of influenza, as well as COVID-19, is expected during the fall and winter of 2020-2021 (“Prevent Seasonal Flu”, para. 1). Each person should be responsible and take precautions in combating the virus and preventing infecting others. Even though there is no definite knowledge on flu transmission and prevention, there are, however, effective steps that will control the spread and treatment of the contagious virus.

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According to the World Health Organization, the most effective preventative action against influenza is vaccination (para. 1). Flu vaccines protect against the circulating viruses and reduce the severity of the illness and potential complications. Annual vaccination is suggested to everyone who is six months and older, each season from September to October. It is particularly important for people at higher risk for possible complications and severe consequences of influenza (Grohskopf et al. 2). Therefore, vaccination should be carried out to prevent the spread of flu viruses.

Everyday preventative actions are quite simple but efficient in accomplishing the task. Some of the healthy habits include avoiding close contact with infected people, touching eyes, mouth, or nose, as well as washing and sanitizing hands often. Facemasks are also helpful in stopping the spread of the virus if worn correctly and frequently. Vitamins, a healthy diet, and regular exercise boost the immune system and help the human organism to resist the flu. Vitamins C and D are vital in maintaining a healthy body, and the deficit of those vitamins makes people more vulnerable to the disease.

Influenza antiviral medications are prescription drugs that fight against flu viruses in the human organism. Antivirals are more effective when taken the first two days of becoming sick with the symptoms; they help lower fever and relieve the progression of the illness. The medication will also reduce complications such as ear infections or persisting coughing, especially among children. Antiviral drugs prevent the virus from becoming rampant and spreading throughout the body. There are several types of antivirals, and since viruses mutate with time, new medications are regularly created to treat and protect people from them. Flu vaccines and antiviral prescription medications are important components during seasonal influenza outbreaks.

Each year influenza epidemics spread across the world during the fall and winter. Even though for healthy adults the disease usually progresses mildly and resolves on its own within a week, there can also be severe consequences and complications from the flu. Influenza is the only respiratory disease that can be prevented by vaccination. Even if a vaccinated person is infected, the symptoms are noticeably less distinguished and fatal for them. People who have health problems and chronic illnesses, pregnant women, and children are more susceptible to the flu viruses. Good health habits are also rewarding in flu prevention and are available to everyone. Antiviral drugs are usually prescribed to prevent and treat flu viruses. The transmission of influenza can be prevented following the known recommended behaviors and steps.

Works Cited

Grohskopf, Lisa A., et al. “Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2020–21 Influenza Season.” MMWR. Recommendations and Reports, vol. 69, no. 8, 2020, pp. 1–24.

“Prevent Seasonal Flu.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020, Web.

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World Health Organization. “Influenza (Seasonal).” World Health Organization, 2018, Web.

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