I’ve learned to read the signs by now. I can see how my toddler slowly falls prey to the #Influenza virus almost every alternate month. It starts with his day care lunch & snack boxes returning home unfinished. He loses his appetite. His zest. One morning he wakes up fine, and by the same evening he has a full-blown high-grade fever and we know it’s the dreaded F word – FLU.
What kills me is, when I sit down to think about it, I realize the signs were all there. Mom guilt has enveloped my brain by now. When I start to see reason, I know that by the time I could see the symptoms creeping in, it was already too late to prevent the flu. I needed to do something about it earlier. But what and how?
Or can it be prevented at all? It won’t be wrong to say that every year during the Influenza season, almost every person in your environs – be it at work, home or school, falls prey to the Flu. Yes, the degree of intensity and the road to recovery may look different for everyone but the truth is, you do end up having the flu at least once a year. Runny noses, sneezing & absent work desks brought on by debilitating fevers are quite the norm. 
The reality of this for young kids who go to school and spend time in day cares is even more grave. One child gets the flu bug and like a chain, one by one, all the kids in class catch it. My laments of “Oh no, a viral again?” are mostly met with responses telling me that this is the reality till the child builds up his own immune defense mechanism. No amounts of Haldi doodh (turmeric milk) or vitamin C infusions can prevent the dreaded Flu.
My bone of contention with this ugly game that Influenza plays is that when the first 5 years of a child’s life are crucial in terms of him developing key physical and mental abilities, the Flu virus acts as a cog in the wheel, slowing everything down. Just when my son is recovering from one bout of illness and regaining his strength and health, it seems like another avatar of the Flu virus has managed to find him.
But just how can flu be prevented?
The answer surely lies in medical science. Modern medical science has made sufficient progress to battle serious complications like cancer and AIDS. What about Influenza? There has been a lot of talk about the existence of an Influenza vaccine. This vaccine is created after a careful study of the strain of virus by WHO (World Health Organization) doing the rounds in a particular season and customized to battle it. While it doesn’t claim that the recipient of the vaccine will be 100% protected against flu, it does however reassure that the symptoms of a Flu infection will be milder and more manageable than usual. 
As a mother to a growing boy #IPromiseToStopFlu. It’s time to nip the Flu virus in the bud.