How to Prepare for Flu Season

Nurse Giving Shot

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu usually comes on suddenly with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Flu season mainly occurs in the fall and winter with peaks between December and February.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a yearly flu vaccine as the most important step in protecting against influenza and its serious complications. The flu vaccine can reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, and missed work and school due to the flu. It can also decrease flu-related hospitalizations.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins. CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October however receiving a flu vaccine during any part of flu season can be beneficial.

In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, you can take every day preventative actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands frequently. Also, if you are sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading the flu to others.

People at high risk of flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, and people over the age of 65. Infants younger than 6 months old are at high risk of flu illness but are too young to be vaccinated. People who live with or care for infants should also be vaccinated.

Be sure to schedule your flu shot!

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