Get the flu shot. The advice of doctors is that simple during the rainy season.
In Costa Rica, the risk of getting infected with respiratory diseases such as influenza increases during rainy and cold seasons, according to the Pan American Health Organization.
“The virus loves to live in cool conditions and where there is moisture. This leads us to a skyrocketing of people hospitalized for influenza during rainy seasons,” said the head of La Botica Pharmacy, Jose Carlos Vargas.
Although everyone should get vaccinated for influenza once a year, children are considered a group that is vulnerable to virus infections, according to Vargas.
“It’s very important that children between 6 months and 5 years old are able to receive the vaccine, since at these ages, their body and immune system are not yet mature enough,” La Botica pharmacy said in a press release.
Children between 6 months and 9 years old who get vaccinated for the first time should receive a second dose a month later, explained Vargas.
The vaccine doesn’t prevent infection, but it increases antibodies and reduces the chances that the flu will turn into more serious infections, such as pneumonia.
Influenza is very contagious and, once it’s in the body, it affects the immune system [which attacks diseases] and makes it easier for viruses to enter the lungs, blood and other organs, causing a more serious infection, which increases the risk of death,” warned Vargas.
Why do you have to get vaccinated every year?
- The influenza virus has the ability to mutate, which means that this year’s virus isn’t necessarily the same as last year’s.
- Vaccines prepare the immune system to deal with new strains of influenza.
- Where can you get vaccinated? La Botica Pharmacy offers the Fluarix vaccine, a shot that can be administered to adults and children as young as six months old.
- Fluarix normally costs ₡8.824 + iva, but with MediSmart private medical insurance, the price is ₡7,500 + iva. For more information, you can call 2521-9599 or WhatsApp 6026-8422.