You already know that protecting your health during flu season is important because you can develop a high fever, chills or nausea in addition to developing complications from bronchitis or pneumonia. However, you may not know that having the flu can affect your heart, and if you already have a heart problem, then having the flu is particularly dangerous.
While some individuals overcome influenza quickly, other individuals can feel sick for several weeks, and this problem is common for anyone with an immune disorder, chronic health condition, or increased susceptibility due to age.
Influenza and heart failure
Research indicates that numerous influenza patients have heart failure caused by the complications that are associated with this condition. Statistics reveal that approximately one in five hospital admissions for heart failure are caused by complications from influenza.
Additional research also suggests that the most common cause of heart failure for influenza patients is due to blood circulation problems.
What type of vaccination?
If your primary care physician has determined that you have some type of heart disease, then receiving a flu shot is essential for your health. Anyone with a pre-existing condition that includes diabetes mellitus, asthma, arthritis or heart disease should talk to a health provider to learn more about preventing influenza.
Experts recommend the traditional injection of influenza vaccine rather than the nasal spray flu vaccine, so make sure that a registered nurse or a physician gives you the right type of vaccination.
Reasons to avoid a flu shot
You should not receive a flu shot when you have had a severe reaction to the vaccination in the past for conditions that include Guillian-Barre syndrome. Don't get a flu shot when you are already ill or if you have an allergy to eggs.
It is better for you to get your flu shot before November each year because the holiday season is the primary time of exposure to the disease.
A new type of flu shot is available each year, and it is formulated to prevent the most common types of influenza strains. These influenza strains are determined by collecting statistical information about the different strains each year.
However, it is still possible to contract influenza before you receive a vaccination or from an unusual strain of the disease. This is why you must protect yourself in other ways, including washing your hands frequently, staying away from sick people and keeping your home clean. To avoid contaminating other individuals, you should stay at home when you are sick with the flu.
And, most importantly, make sure to have a thermometer at home to check when you have a fever, as a fever is one of the symptoms that tends to set colds apart from the flu.
Where to get a flu shot
It is possible to get a flu shot from a variety of locations, and in many cases, its cost is paid through your insurance provider. Call your region's local health department or nearby pharmacies to determine if these places have a low-cost flu shot program available.