It’s Not too Late to Get a Flu Shot
As I write this blog, I’m home sick with a head cold. Thankfully I could work from home in an effort to prevent the spread of flu…but I don’t have the flu, perhaps thanks to the flu shot I got last November.
“But wasn’t that flu vaccines not as effective as originally thought it to be?” you may be wondering?
Our friends as the San Francisco Department of Public Health want us to know about the benefit of getting a flu shot—even at this stage in the flu season. Their point is simple and reassuring: even during a season when the vaccine is only partially protective against one flu virus, it can protect against the others.
“Even though the flu shot is not a perfect match for all of this year’s flu viruses, it is still worth getting,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, San Francisco Health Officer. “The shot will still protect against other strains of flu that are circulating, and can prevent the severity of flu if you do get sick.”
The facts about the flu (and how to prevent its spread):
Every year, flu sickens and kills thousands of Americans and is particularly dangerous to the young, elderly and those with chronic illnesses or weakened immune systems. In addition to getting vaccinated, it’s important to practice good hand washing and health habits. People who are ill can help stop the spread of germs:
- Limit contact with others – stay home from work or school
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based rub
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone six months of age or older, but is particularly important for those at higher risk of severe influenza, including pregnant women, children under five years of age, the elderly, and persons with certain underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, asthma and heart disease. Vaccination of pregnant women also helps to protect infants too young to be vaccinated.
This flu season can still become severe. Those at highest risk who show flu symptoms should contact their physician immediately in order to get the most effective treatment.
Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
Visit a flu vaccine location near you to get immunized. For more information about influenza, visit http://www.flu.gov.