Keep Safe this Flu Season

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The flu season is upon us!  Protection and avoidance is key.  The flu virus is spread through the air by droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Since 2010, CDC estimates that flu has resulted in between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations each year or 9% of the population (CDC, 2018).  It is estimated that the flu virus kills up to 20,000 people each year, according to the CDC (2018).  The highest risk lies with the young and elderly.      


Protection can be initiated by simply getting the flu vaccine.  It is recommended that the vaccine be administered before the end of October to be in full effect during the flu season.  It is still warranted to obtain the vaccine even into January of the following year to obtain protection from the flu virus during flu season.  


Who can get the flu vaccine?

Anybody can get the vaccine, although those who are allergic to eggs should alert the person administering the vaccine of his or her allergy. Flu vaccines are offered by many doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even by some schools. Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or work.


Other precautions…

In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.  Wash the handle of the cart at the store with the disinfecting wipe available at the door.  Carry a pack of hand wipes or hand sanitizer with you at all times during flu season.