Flu Season, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

Flu season isn’t over yet!

We don’t yet know if flu season has peaked. There’s still time to get the flu shot if you are at risk. Everyone six months or older should get vaccinated. Furthermore, the CDC recommends that children under two and individuals with medical conditions should also get a pneumococcal vaccination to prevent pneumonia. 

If you get the flu you’ll know about it. Flu symptoms are much worse than the common cold. They come on suddenly, whereas cold symptoms are gradual. If you have flu you can expect a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills, and aching muscles. If you suspect that you have the flu call your healthcare provider as they may want to prescribe antiviral drugs to help reduce the severity and duration of your illness. 

If you are still planning on getting a flu shot do so sooner rather than later because it takes 10 to 14 days for your body to develop immunity. Getting the flu shot doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get the flu but if you do it may lessen the severity of your illness. 

In addition to getting vaccinated, there are measures you can take to limit exposure to the virus. Flu germs spread when people who are sick don’t cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze and cough. If you use a tissue make sure you dispose of it quickly and wash your hands. If there is no tissue use the crook of your elbow. 

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Flu germs can live for two to eight hours on hard services, which is why the illness can spread so easily. Wash your hands regularly and teach your children to do the same. The most effective way to wash your hands is run them under warm water, add soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse and dry. It’s important to wash your hands every time you use the bathroom, before you eat, and when you arrive home.

If family or friends have symptoms stay away until they are back to full health. If someone in your immediate family is sick keep them home, limit close contact, change sleeping arrangements if necessary, and avoid sharing washcloths, towels, dishes, toys, and utensils. Most people remain contagious up to a week after their first symptoms. 

Clean frequently to avoid the spread of germs. Disinfect (or throw away) kitchen sponges and dishcloths, and regularly clean cutting boards, surfaces, floors, sinks, and toilets. 

In addition to the above, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink lots of fluids, exercise regularly and manage your stress. 

Flu Season, Springfield Illinois, Uncategorized

Flu shots available now

Fall is fast approaching and that means flu season is right around the corner. The best protection against the virus is to get the flu shot.

Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination is vital for those at high risk of serious complications from the flu. The most common complication from the flu is a bacterial infection of the lungs or bacterial pneumonia. This happens because the flu virus damages the lungs and causes inflammation, which then makes it easier for bacteria to invade the lungs and cause serious infection. Sepsis is another complication that can occur when the body overreacts to an infection. Sepsis can affect multiple organ systems and can lead to organ failure, which is fatal.

Although the flu vaccine doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get sick it does reduce your chances of getting the flu and if you do get sick it may be less severe.

As well as getting your flu shot, ideally before the end of October, take precautions to avoid exposure to the flu virus such as washing your hands frequently and staying away from people who are sick. Children six months through eight years who require two doses should receive their first dose of the flu shot as soon as possible to allow the second dose to be received by the end of October.

It is important to stay home if you have flu-like symptoms until at least 24 hours after the fever has gone. Flu-like symptoms include s a fever, body aches, and tiredness.

Flu vaccines are now available at all Central Counties Health Centers locations so call and book your appointment today.