Back to school, football games, cooler weather and the flu season, it is that time of the year again and Grundy County Public Health encourages everyone to get a flu shot. Anyone 6 months and older should take advantage of this vaccination to help prevent the flu.
Each year in the United States the influenza virus infects many people, and kills an average of 36,000 people. Influenza is highly contagious disease that affects the lungs. An annual vaccination is recommended because the flu strains change each year, and the vaccine changes to match the current strains. You cannot get influenza from the vaccine. Protection from H1N1 is included in the seasonal flu shot this year.
Who should be vaccinated? Anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu or spreading it to others. By getting the vaccine, you are protecting yourself and those who are too young to get the flu vaccine. Parents and caregivers of children under 6 months should have the vaccine. Pregnant women, the elderly, and people with chronic health conditions (such as diabetes, COPD, asthma, heart, or kidney disease) are especially vulnerable and should be vaccinated.
Grundy County Public Health will be scheduling walk-in flu clinics, including a drive-thru opportunity, so watch for these announcements. Consider getting your flu shot locally. In the past couple of years, private providers such as Walgreens have offered flu vaccines. Remember that any profits that public health make from flu vaccines stay in the county and are re-invested into other health programs.
What can you do to help stop the spread of Flu? The best way to prevent flu is to vaccinate against it, wash your hands often, cover your coughs and sneezes, and stay home from school or work if you are ill.