Baptist Health La Grange: Preventing the Flu
Infectious disease specialist BENJAMIN KLAUSING, MD, explains the importance of getting a flu shot and describes how the vaccine helps keep you from getting sick.
Preventing the Flu Health Talks Transcript
Benjamin Klausing MD, Infectious Diseases
Influenza is a serious viral illness that causes bad muscle aches, high fevers — it can predispose us to lower respiratory tract infections and pneumonia. It can take a healthy adult or a healthy child and within 24 hours land them in the hospital.
We know that the flu is like a hurricane that’s gathering in the ocean off the coast. We know it’s coming; we know it will hit us; and we know people will lose their lives. But we don’t know how severe it will be and how many people will die. But the good news is — just as we can prepare for a hurricane, so can we prepare for flu season, and the best way to do that is to go get your flu vaccination.
The flu vaccine works by having our body react to it to produce protective antibodies. And these antibodies are defenders that stay in the body and circulate throughout the flu-time season. And when the body gets exposed to flu these antibodies say “Ah-ha I’ve seen this before.” They spring into action, and they kill the flu before it can make us sick.
Everybody should be vaccinated that’s over six months of age. We especially, especially encourage people who have chronic heart disease, chronic lung disease or those with diabetes, and especially pregnant women. At the end of the day we should ask ourselves “Why would you want to get a disease you can prevent?”