Have You Had Your Flu Shot?

Flu activity is usually highest between December and February, though activity may begin as early as October and continue as late as May. People of every age, including those who are in good health, are at risk. The flu is a potentially serious, contagious disease. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu can lead to hospitalization and even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a three step approach to fight against the flu:

  1. Get a flu vaccine. Getting a flu vaccine every year provides the best protection against the flu.
  2. Take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs. Try to avoid close contact with sick people, and if you become sick, limit your contact with others. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands often.
  3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your physician prescribes them. If you get sick with the flu, prescription flu antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.

Children and elders are at greatest risk of serious complications from the flu. Each year, millions of children get sick, thousands are hospitalized, and some die from the flu. According to the CDC, a record high number of flu-related deaths in children were reported last flu season. The CDC recommends that children 6 months of age and older receive the flu vaccine. Children 2 years of age and older may receive the nasal spray flu vaccine. See your healthcare provider to find out which vaccine is right for your child this year. Click here for a guide for parents about the flu.

People 65 years and older are at high risk of getting seriously ill from the flu, due to the weakening of the immune system that happens with age. According to the CDC, it is estimated that 70-85% of flu-related deaths and 50-70% of flu-related hospitalizations occur among this age group.

Click here to access a flyer that you may post in your department to encourage others to get the flu vaccine.

Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/resource-center/nivw/nivw-key-points.htm