Now that November is here, influenza (flu) season is officially upon us! Right now, flu illness seems to be very low in our area, but this will likely change over the next few weeks and months. What can you do to protect yourself? We’re so glad you asked….
- Get a flu shot. The flu vaccine is safe, effective, and easy to get. For more info and commonly asked questions, please see below
- Wash your hands often. After every cough or sneeze, every time you blow your nose, and after every time you use the bathroom. Washing with anti-bacterial soap and water is best, but water-less hand sanitizer is also acceptable.
- If you are sick, stay home and get better. Drink lots of fluids, treat your symptoms, and get plenty of rest.
Flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and the people around you. Many people have questions about the shot – here are a few we hear most often:
- Do flu vaccines really work? Of course! Each year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) work hard to make sure that they pick the most common strains of Flu A and Flu B that will likely cause disease. It’s not a perfect science, but even a less effective vaccine is better than no coverage at all.
- Will I get sick from the flu shot? No. The virus contained in the vaccine is a killed virus, which means that it triggers your immune system to work without actively making you sick. Sometimes, people will complain of some muscle aches, but this is usually a sign that the vaccine is doing its job and will get better in a day or two.
- I’m usually pretty healthy. Do I really need a flu shot? Yes. Influenza is a serious illness and can make anyone sick, regardless of age, health, gender, or location. Certain groups are more susceptible to flu – children, older adults, people with chronic conditions (like diabetes, asthma, and heart disease), and pregnant women – and these people may contract the flu from you if you are not vaccinated.
- Are there any medical reasons that I should not get the shot? There are a few, but not many. Children under the age of 6 months cannot receive a flu vaccine. Some people with egg allergy should not receive a flu vaccine, but some people can – if you have an allergy and would like to receive a vaccine, please call our office to discuss it.
We think it’s pretty important for you to be protected. If you would like to have your child vaccinated against influenza, please contact your primary office and schedule an appointment!