Flu Season Is Coming: How To Prepare & When To Vaccinate
If you are concerned about getting the flu, we don't balme you! With approximately 48.8 million people suffering from influenza (flu) last year, the 2017-2018 flu season was one of the worst in decades.
While the timing and length of flu season is often unpredictable, we do know that it’s most common during the fall and winter months. The CDC (Centers for Diease Control and Protection) reports flu season begins to spread in October, peaks between December and February, and can last until May.
To help protect your body against this serious disease, we have included everything from the common symptoms, who should get vaccinated and when, and how to stop the spread of infection!
Common Signs & Symptoms of the Flu:
Many symptoms of the flu are similar to the common cold. But unlike the cold which tends to develop slowly, the flu symptoms seem to come on more suddenly and more severely. The most common flu symptoms include:
*Please note that not everyone with the flu experiences a fever.
Frequently Ask Questions About Flu Vaccinations:
When Should You Get Vaccinated?
Get vaccinated early! Since it takes up to 2 weeks for the vaccination to reach its full strength and enhance the body’s immune response, it’s recommended to get vaccinated early in the fall before flu season begins.
CDC recommends that people get the vaccine by the end of October. It can still beneficial to get vaccinated later in the year but the earlier, the better.
Who Should and Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?
In general, everyone over the age of 6 months should receive a yearly flu vaccination. It is especially important for people who are at a high risk for developing flu symptoms like:
Those with a severe or life-threatening allergy to any ingredients in the flu vaccination should avoid getting vaccinated. Since most flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein, you should speak with your physician or doctor about possible treatments if you have an egg allergy.
Where Do I Get Vaccinated?
Flu vaccinations are offered at doctor offices, clinics, health centers, and pharmacies. They are also offered in many offices and schools. And since this annual vaccination is considered “preventative healthcare”, most insurance plans will cover the cost without any copay or deductible.
Use Vaccine Locator (http://vaccine.healthmap.org) to find the nearest location to receive this year’s flu shot!
Controlling the Spread of Infection
There is still a chance you may catch the flu, even with a vaccination so it’s important to take precautions to reduce the spread of infection:
Take prescription or over the counter medications. Taking flu antiviral drugs as soon possible can shorten the length and severity of your symptoms, as well as reducing the time you are contagious. For best results, take these drugs within 48 hours of when the symptoms start.
Practice good hygiene. One of the easiest and effective ways to prevent common infections is by thorough and frequent hand washing. Teach your children this healthy habit at a young age.
Watch where you cough and sneeze. Make sure to cough and sneeze into a tissue or your inner elbow to prevent germs from spreading in the ar.
Avoid crowded public places. The flu is so common because it spreads easily in office buildings and schools. Stay home and rest for at least 24 hours so you can reduce the probability of infecting others.
Encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated. You can probably avoid coworkers and friends while you are contagious but it may be more difficult to stay away from your spouse or family members. Make sure they get vaccinated so you don’t pass them this nasty virus!