The flu virus tends to spread quickly in homes, schools and workplaces. Symptoms of the flu virus can include coughing, body pain, a sore throat, fever and tiredness. Many people don’t view the flu as a serious illness. This is because the majority of people who fall ill recover within one to two weeks. Yet, nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. die each year from flu complications. A flu vaccine is one way to prevent the flu. But along with the vaccine, you can take other steps.
Start by getting a flu shot for yourself and older children. Get your flu vaccine early in the season and encourage your spouse or childcare provider to get vaccinated as well. If possible, limit the number of people who care for your infant during flu season. The flu virus is airborne, and it only takes one cough or sneeze to infect your baby.
Flu complications are rare, and most people recover within one to two weeks. However, the flu impacts everyone differently, and if you have an illness that weakens your immune system, you’re more susceptible to complications, such as hospitalization, pneumonia and death. These complications are higher in individuals with cancer, thus it is important for anyone with cancer to receive a flu vaccine.