After skating through the Holiday season pretty much unscathed, I had my comeuppance in mid January when I contracted the flu bug that’s really been going around this year! And no, I did not get a flu shot! I really had thought I could stay uninfected if I washed my hands often and scrutinized the people around me. I also went into harms way when I sat down to breakfast one morning where one of the diners was obviously sick! I’m unclear if I got the bug from that one person or if its just simply so widespread it was only a matter of time!
But now that I have the flu, and even though I’m feeling miserable, I can take comfort in the fact that for this particular strain of the flu, I will now enjoy some immunity. How much and for how long depends on a lot of factors. Older folks like me tend to lose their immunity even after they’ve had the vaccine; generally the CDC asks that everyone get fresh vaccinations every year in the fall. The other thing with the flu is its ability to change or mutate from year to year. This requires a who new custom batch of vaccine be made. And sometimes, the technicians don’t get the mix just right and so even a vaccine can fizzle out and not provide as much protection as was hoped for. I tell you, it a hard world out there!
This year, the vaccine turned out to be a good match and had I gotten a shot, I would have been protected after about 2 week. (That’s the time it takes for my immune system to make the antibodies and have them on hand) – After all, a vaccine is really nothing more than ‘deactivated flu virus’. It can’t make you really sick, but fools the body into thinking it has the flu and so those antibodies get produced.
So, assuming I don’t have any complications, I should be good to go in another few days. And, I’ve already made my mind up to get that shot next fall!