Winter is upon us, a season that often brings beautiful displays of sparkling snow in most parts of the country, memorable holiday get-togethers and lots of good food. But, of course, the cold winter weather also brings … flu season. Although many typically associate the flu with December and January, flu season can start as early as October and go all the way through May. Classrooms, offices, trains, buses – there are so many places the flu can spread. Aside from washing your hands and eating well, there’s one thing that can help reduce your chances of getting sick: a flu shot.
The science behind flu shots
A flu shot doesn’t go to work right away. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop and start protecting you against infection. The most common flu shot protects against three types of flu viruses: influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B. The A and B viruses are often the seasonal epidemic that hit every winter.
This year, avoid the flu and check out these three reasons why you should get a flu shot:
The flu could be on your phone
You rely on your smartphone for everything, whether it’s chatting with your friends, keeping track of your school schedule, checking the Herzing Instagram page or staying up-to-date on work emails. Take a moment and think about when the last time was that you actually cleaned the surface of your phone. Chances are, it’s been awhile. The Huffington Post says that the flu virus can easily attach itself to your smartphone’s surfaces. A flu shot can help protect you from whatever germs may be living on your phone.
You might use fewer sick days
There aren’t many convenient times during the year to get sick, and the winter season is no exception. Taking a sick day can set you back when it comes to work and school. According to Flu.gov, the flu virus accounts for 111 million lost work days, which translates into nearly $7 billion in lost productivity per year. When you get a flu shot, however, you’re reducing your chances of getting sick and having to take a day off from your busy schedule.
You’ll protect friends and family
If you don’t want to get a flu shot for yourself, get it for the sake of your loved ones. The Harvard School of Public Health says that 20 percent to 30 percent of people who have the flu virus never actually experience symptoms. That means you could have the flu and pass it on to friends or family without even knowing it. Keep your community of loved ones healthy this year and make time during your schedule for a flu shot.