Flu Season Has Kicked In… Here’s How to Protect Yourself

Grant Boone
January 9, 2019

"Get your flu shot and get protected".

This statement indicates there is a limited supply of influenza vaccines available for free in San Antonio, Texas, which has a population over 1.5 million people. Regardless of race, age, gender or ethnicity, anyone can get sick from the flu. Compared to past year, this flu season appears to be less severe.

A total of 13 children have died so far this flu season.

This is important news since 185 pediatric deaths related to influenza were reported to the CDC during the 2017-18 flu season.

Although flu cases are climbing, the numbers are still well behind those reported at this time previous year, when the nation was in the midst of one of its most severe flu seasons on record.

"Vaccination - although not flawless - still prevents many infections completely, and even if you get influenza having received the vaccine, your illness is much more likely to be milder, and you're less likely to get the complications of pneumonia and having to be hospitalized".

"Stay home if at all possible, avoid close contact with other people, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, disinfect frequently touched surfaces and make sure to wash your hands frequently", continued Gildersleeve.

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It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against the flu virus, so the earlier the shot is administered, the better.

The flu season is far from over though.

"While most people will get better themselves from flu, anyone who is concerned about their condition should telephone their GP or an out of hours medical service so they can arrange to be treated in a way that does not put others at risk", he explained.

"We also have good evidence that having a flu shot greatly reduces the risk of hospitalization or death even for those who do get the flu anyway", he added.

During the last week of December, Marion County emergency room visits related to influenza-like illness was at 2.70% - this is considered high.

"At the first sign of the flu - fever, muscle aches, and fatigue - call your doctor".

Sinus and ear infections are examples of moderate complications of flu, but a frequent serious complication, particularly in people with chronic lung disease, is pneumonia.

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