If you have a recommended flu shot, know that some others do not feel the same way. In the ensuing week, it is reported that, in New York State, between October 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019, nearly 100,000 people died of influenza. A study from Public Health England showed that, collectively, they may have caused a loss of economic value of more than $270 billion by the end of the 2018 flu season.
But the flu is not exclusively dangerous to young adults and those of high risk groups, like the elderly. This year’s H3N2 strain was responsible for about 36 percent of reported deaths in children and young adults. The federal government recommends all children get a flu shot, while those over 2 years old are strongly urged to get one for themselves.
In those for whom a flu shot is not an option, you can still protect yourself. In general, you don’t have to get a flu shot every year. Each flu season has its own particular challenges and advantages, and there are ways to protect yourself throughout the year. Yet if your regular dose of Vicks Vaporub doesn’t provide the rest of the measures you need, look to the brands sold at your doctor’s office or pharmacy. They offer robust antiviral medicines to treat the flu without causing any harm to you. Some, like Relenza, can also be administered by mouth. When our immune systems fight off germs, the body stores immune-promoting molecules that can also be used to fight other illnesses and even cancer. So choose your brand wisely.