"No one likes getting stuck with a needle, but no one likes
having a fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches for days, or even
weeks," said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah. "Anyone can get the flu,
even healthy people. Getting a flu shot is the first and most
important step in protecting you and those around you against flu
Influenza is spread mainly when people with the flu cough or sneeze.
The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and can even result in
hospitalizations or death. People at high risk of serious flu
complications include young children, pregnant women, people with
chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung
disease, and people 65 years and older.
Vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctorsí visits, missed work
and school, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Over a
period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of
flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about
3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During recent flu seasons,
between 80 and 90 percent of flu related deaths have occurred in
people 65 years and older.
The flu season typically runs from October to May with the peak
between December and February. Last year the flu season started and
peaked later than usual. Itís not possible to predict what this flu
season will be like. While flu spreads every year, the timing,
severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another.
Manufacturers project providing between 157 million and 168 million
doses of vaccine this year, the same amount as last year. While the
flu shot vaccine effectiveness was almost 60 percent last year, the
vaccine has been updated to better match viruses circulating this
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In addition to getting a flu shot, IDPH recommends following the 3
Cís: clean, cover, and contain.
Clean Ė frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water.
Cover Ė cover your cough and sneeze.
contain your germs by staying home if you are sick.
Influenza antiviral drugs can be a second line of defense for
treatment of some who get sick with the flu. Many observational
studies have found that in addition to lessening the duration and
severity of symptoms, antiviral drugs can prevent flu complications.
Because it is important to start antiviral medication quickly,
high-risk patients should contact a health care professional at the
first signs of influenza symptoms, which include sudden onset of
fever, aches, chills, and tiredness.
Flu shots are available locally
at the Logan County Department of Public Health, 109 Third Street
[Illinois Department of Public