And so it begins…the beginning of flu season is upon us. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just released the national flu map and guess who has one of the highest rates of flu in the country…the great state of Texas! So what does that mean? It means it’s is time to go and get your flu shot today! Sure, the peak of flu season is typically seen between January and February, but flu season begins in October and can stretch all the way through late May. Why take a risk on contracting this preventable illness when when there is a simple, easy, and safe alternative?
So let’s start this season off right with a little thing I like to call the “Flu Review!”
- WHO NEEDS A FLU SHOT? It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a yearly flu vaccine. This is the first and most important step in protecting against this serious and potentially life-threatening disease.
- WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR THE FLU SEASON? Other than vaccination (the most important step) you can take everyday preventative steps. Stay away from people who are sick, wash your hands to reduce the spread of germs, and if you are sick stay away from others!
- WHERE CAN I GET A FLU SHOT? You can stop by your local pharmacy, your doctors office, your local health department, clinics, and even many employers and some schools have begun offering the vaccine. Or you can check out the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to locate a provider near you!
- IS THE FLU SHOT EFFECTIVE? The effectiveness of the flu vaccine varies from season to season depending on at least two factors. The first being the “characteristics of the person being vaccinated.” For example, their age and health. The second factor is related to the “match between the flu viruses and the flu vaccine designed to protect against the flu viruses from spreading in the community.” Regardless, vaccination is still the most effective way to combat the seasonal flu.
So in review,…Step 1: Go get your flu shot! Step 2: be protected against the flu this season. It’s that simple! Now go roll up your sleeve and protect yourself and those you love!