Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN – Guest blogger, EPNRC volunteer
It’s Flu Season!
Are you vaccinated? I am and I strongly recommend that you talk with your health care provider to see if you should be vaccinated too. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers great information on the flu and the flu vaccine. Below are excerpts from the site.
“Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. During this time, flu viruses are circulating at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
Flu vaccination should begin soon after vaccine becomes available, if possible by October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even in January or later. While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, during most seasons influenza activity peaks in January or later. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.
The benefits of the flu vaccination include:
- The flu vaccine can keep you from getting sick with flu.
- Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, including among children and older adults.
- Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
- Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. Getting vaccinated can also protect a baby after birth from flu. (Mom passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.)
- Getting vaccinated yourself also protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.”
If you haven’t already gotten your flu vaccination please contact your personal health care provider to see if getting the flu vaccine is appropriate for you. Let’s stay healthy Estes!