• Get Ahead of Flu Season

    Health & Wellness

    October 2, 2016

    Tips to avoid getting the flu and reasons to get the flu shot every year

    Flu Shot 2016.jpgWhen it comes to flu, prevention is the best medicine

    Seasonal flu is right around the corner; make sure you’re protected! Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease affecting the nose, throat and lungs that can lead to serious complications, hospitalizations or even death. Pneumonia and bronchitis are examples of serious flu-related complications. The flu can also cause certain health conditions, like diabetes, asthma, heart and lung disease, to become worse. Although flu is serious, there are many things you can do to protect yourself, including getting a seasonal flu vaccine.

    Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine each year

    • Getting vaccinated can keep you from getting sick, and protecting yourself also protects people around you who are more vulnerable to flu illness, such as people 65 and older, pregnant women; people with chronic health conditions or lowered immunity; and young children.
    • Vaccination may make your illness milder if you do get sick. The ability of a flu vaccine to protect a person depends on the age and health of the individual and the similarity between the viruses used to make the vaccine and the viruses circulating in the community.
    • Why yearly? Protection declines over time, plus every year vaccine formulation is reviewed and updated to try to keep up with changing flu viruses.

    Other Tips to Avoid Getting the Flu

    • Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables. Drink plenty of water. Exercise regularly and get enough sleep. All these things will help keep your immune system strong all year and especially during peak flu season, typically October through May.
    • Wash your hands often. When you touch something an infected person has touched or coughed or sneezed on, you can pick up flu germs. If you are sick, avoid contact with others and stay home from work. Sanitize surfaces that are touched (doorknobs, faucet handles, phones, keyboards). Avoid touching your face with your hands to avoid introducing germs into your body.

    Contact your primary care provider with questions about flu and seasonal flu vaccination.