There’s Still Time To Get A Flu
National Influenza Vaccination Week
December 2-8, 2018
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[December 04, 2018]
If you haven’t received a flu shot yet, it’s not too late. While
it’s best to get vaccinated against the flu in October, you can
still get a flu shot. Flu activity is usually highest between
December and February, although activity can last as late as May.
“Even healthy people can get the flu,” said Illinois Department of
Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “And while healthy
people may not suffer serious illness from the flu, they can pass
the virus to babies too young to be vaccinated, people who have
chronic illnesses, and others who may develop serious health
problems like pneumonia. Before you get together with grandkids and
grandparents for the holidays, make sure you not only protect
yourself from the flu, but your loved ones as well.”
During the 2017-2018 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention estimates flu caused:
• 49 million flu illnesses – more than the combined populations of
Texas and Florida
• 960,000 flu hospitalizations – more than the number of staffed
hospital beds in the United States
• 79,000 deaths – more than the average number of people who attend
the Super Bowl each year
Flu symptoms can include fever or feverish/chills, cough, sore
throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache,
tiredness, and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though
this is more common in children than adults.
Flu is typically spread by droplets when someone with the flu talks,
coughs, or sneezes. People can also get the flu by touching
something, like a door handle, that has the virus on it and then
touching their mouth, eyes, or nose.
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On average, it’s about two days after being exposed to the flu before symptoms
begin. However, you can pass the flu to someone roughly a day before you start
experiencing those symptoms, and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.
Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, missed work and school
due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. It may also make
your illness milder if you do get sick.
Getting vaccinated is the first and most important step in protecting you and
those around you against flu viruses. In addition to getting a flu shot, IDPH
recommends following the 3 C’s: clean, cover, and contain.
• Clean – frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water.
• Cover – cover your cough and sneeze.
• Contain – 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.
To find a location to get a flu shot in your community, check with your health
care provider or local health department. You can also use the online Vaccine
[Illinois Department of Public Health]