Why even healthy people need flu shots

The flu vaccine is safe and recommended for use in nearly everyone, with the exception of babies under six months and people with certain medical conditions. Unfortunately, many people neglect to get their annual flu shot, because they assume the illness won’t severely affect them. The emergency care doctors and nurses at Southern Hills Hospital have seen firsthand how unpleasant influenza can be, and since it can be fatal for some patients, we encourage our Las Vegas neighbors to get vaccinated.

The flu isn’t like having a cold
Unlike a cold, the symptoms of the flu usually develop rapidly. A cold might only slow you down a little, but the flu can send you to bed for a few days. Flu viruses can result in these symptoms:

  • High fever with chills
  • Severe fatigue
  • Headache
  • Severe muscle aches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Decreased appetite

Of course, some people may only experience mild flu symptoms. However, since the flu is highly contagious, affected individuals should stay home from work and school to avoid infecting others.

The flu can cause complications that require hospitalization
In some people, the flu can cause life-threatening complications . Even if you’re generally healthy and have a robust immune system, an illness places you at a higher risk of dehydration. If you develop severe dehydration or you can’t keep fluids down, you’ll need emergency care.

Flu vaccines protect the entire community
As safe as the flu vaccine is, not everyone can get it. Infants under six months of age and people with certain life-threatening allergies are unable to get this vaccine. This means they are vulnerable to flu viruses circulating during any given year.

If you do contract the flu, you can easily spread the germs to others. Even if you only experience mild symptoms, the germs you transfer to your family, friends and neighbors might make them gravely ill. Getting vaccinated is an easy way to do your part for your community.

Preventive healthcare is a priority here at Southern Hills Hospital , but our emergency care providers are always here to help, just in case. If you have any concerns about the safety or effectiveness of vaccines, one of our providers will be happy to discuss them with you. To speak with a friendly member of our nursing staff in Las Vegas, call (702) 916-5023.

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