Protect yourself, protect your family this flu season! Influenza (flu) viruses are most common during the fall and winter seasons. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “the exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.” Now (by the end of October) is the recommended time to get your flu vaccine. Don’t wait!
The best way to prevent getting the flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine. It is important to note that the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. To find a convenient location near you that provides flu vaccines, visit: https://vaccinefinder.org/ and select flu vaccine.
QVHD also recommends the following tips to avoid the flu and stay healthy all winter long:
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick;
- Stay home when you are sick;
- Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing;
- Frequently washing your hands; and
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
If you suspect you or a loved one has the flu, go to your doctor. Getting treatment early is very important. There are antivirals you can take to lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. They can also prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia.
Flu is different from a cold and symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- fever* or feeling feverish/chills;
- sore throat;
- runny or stuffy nose;
- muscle or body aches;
- fatigue (tiredness); or
- some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/.