Chills. Body aches. Fatigue. These are just a few of the symptoms people often experience when they get influenza, or more commonly called flu. Your best defense against it? A yearly flu shot.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
Flu can be a serious disease, particularly among young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization, or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults. Therefore, getting vaccinated is a safer choice than risking illness. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. For the best protection, anyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.
Flu vaccines are available at Fordland Clinic and Tri-Lakes CHC, no appointment needed.