Flu shot imageNational Influenza Vaccination Week

Every year as the warm weather leaves and cold weather moves in, cold and flu season comes and we are reminded of the importance of receiving an annual flu vaccination. Statistics show that 1 in 5 people will catch the influenza virus in any given cold and flu season (CDC). The flu is an extremely contagious respiratory disease that attacks the body by spreading through the upper and lower respiratory tract. The flu vaccination decreases your chances of catching the flu from October to May. The vaccination takes about 2 weeks within the body to completely provide protection against the strain of flu for the upcoming 2018 - 2019 season. Some side effects from the flu shot to be aware of are redness and swelling where the shot was given, a low grade fever, and body aches.

If after receiving your flu shot you have the following symptoms below, please contact your doctor:

  • Shortness of breath or chest pains
  • Cough something up pink or reddish in color
  • Cannot keep food or water down for more than 24 hours
  • Feel dizzy or confused
  • Fever lasting more than 3 days

It is important to contact your doctor prior to getting a flu shot in order to be sure it is okay for you to receive one. Use these preventive tips and strategies to avoid getting the flu this season:

  • Wash and/or sanitize your hands after touching objects, sneezing or coughing and before and after eating
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Get plenty of rest, eat properly, and dress appropriately for the weather.
  • If you are feeling ill, prevent the spread of germs by staying home from school or the workplace, if possible. Return to work only after being fever free for 24 hours, without the use of fever reducers.

Additional resources include: