Flu activity in the U.S. peaked last year during the week of Christmas. Since it takes up to two weeks for the shot to be effective, you should get one now!
There are many benefits to getting a flu shot each year:
- A flu shot can prevent you from getting sick. Protecting yourself from the flu also protects the people around you from getting sick.
- A flu shot also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.
- A flu shot can help protect people who are at increased risk of getting seriously ill from flu, such as older adults, people with chronic health conditions and young children (especially infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to get vaccinated). Children 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting vaccinated for the first time may need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected. If a child has not received his/her first dose, get them vaccinated now. Check with your child’s doctor to see if a second dose is required.
- A flu shot can reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes, such as hospitalizations and deaths. Each year in the U.S., an average of 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized from serious flu complications (check Kentucky’s current flu activity level).
In addition to getting a flu shot, take these steps to stop the spread of germs:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand wash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.