(Flu) Season's Greetings
Across the country, we are beginning to see increasing cases of influenza.
You have likely been taking preventive measures against COVID-19 for several months to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Many of these same preventive measures also work well for the flu.
Stopping the spread requires using all the tools we have available—wearing masks, trying to stay at least 6 feet from people who don’t live with you, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, washing your hands frequently and getting vaccinated.
Getting the flu vaccine gives you an added layer of protection against influenza and could also protect your family and your coworkers. Here are some key points:
- All influenza vaccines available in the United States are very effective at preventing the disease.
- Flu shots are safe, and they cannot give you the flu.
- The most common side effects are pain in the arm where you got the shot, feeling tired, headache, body aches, chills and fever.
- It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to build up your immunity.
- You can get your flu shot and your COVID-19 shot at the same time; just get them in different arms.
- Flu vaccines are readily available, and they are typically covered by insurance.
Flu activity in the United States is tracked by the Centers for Disease Control from reports made by a network of clinics in every state and test results from public health labs. The most recent reports indicate:
- While influenza activity is low nationally, the number of influenza viruses detected by public health labs has increased in recent weeks.
- The majority of viruses detected are A(H3N2). More than 90% are among children and young adults age 5-24.
An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine.
The CDC offers more information about:
Flu is different from a cold, and it usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often experience:
- fever or feeling feverish/chills
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle/body aches
- sometimes vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)
If you experience flu symptoms, see your health care provider soon for timely diagnosis and effective treatment. If you need help finding a doctor, please call 1-800-THE-DESK (1-800-843-3375).
An annual flu shot is the best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications.