Reports show that health consciousness among Filipino consumers is increasing. In 2020, the demand for vitamin C more than doubled, and companies noted an increased interest in maintenance medicine for senior citizens, antibiotics, and antivirals. Fitness equipment like exercise mats, jump ropes, and weights became popular purchases on online shopping platforms.
Now that more than 170 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered many are excited to make up for all the things they missed during the height of the pandemic. However, because health restrictions have been mostly lifted, there is still the risk of getting exposed to different threats like the flu.
Preventive healthcare through routine immunization is the best protection from it because the strain and severity of flu changes from season to season.
What is the flu?
Influenza, or flu for short, is a viral respiratory infection that causes mild to severe illness, and even death. Its symptoms include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, or a runny or stuffy nose. Other possible symptoms include body aches, headaches, and tiredness. Vomiting and diarrhea may also occur, but this is more common in children.
The flu is contagious and is spread through tiny droplets transmitted via coughing, sneezing, or talking. Close contact is the most common way to get the flu, but it may also be transmitted by touching an object that someone with the virus has coughed or sneezed on. The virus may stay infectious for hours to days, and will stay active longer on hard surfaces like plastic or stainless steel.
Flu and cold share symptoms but they are caused by different viruses. The flu is more intense in terms of symptoms. It also affects everyone, even young and healthy people, at any time of the year. It is a constant threat, which is why it is important to protect oneself against it.
Timely immunization is the best weapon against the flu
It’s recommended to get annual immunization since vaccines change each year to match the flu viruses going around at the moment. Immunity from the flu vaccine declines over time, so a regular schedule is critical to get the best protection and you don’t even need to wait for a year to renew your flu shot. As soon as the new variant comes out, you can set an appointment with your doctor and get vaccinated.
There are other benefits to getting yearly immunization. Besides protection, flu vaccines promote savings for individuals, families, and even employers and healthcare systems. Individuals inoculated with the flu vaccine reduce their risk of going to the doctor by up to 60%. This is advantageous, considering that the cost of hospitalization can range from P10,000 to P30,000 per visit and the average monthly income for Filipino families is P25,599.
Consult your doctor to schedule a flu vaccine. Hospitals and clinics nationwide also offer flu vaccination services.