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Patient Education

The Flu-Shot

The “flu” is also known as Influenza, which is an immensely contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses. A common cold and flu are both contagious viral infections of the respiratory tract, however the flu is much worse.

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Comes on suddenly
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscular or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea, more common in children than adults

To help prevent the flu, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting a flu shot for anyone above 6 months of age. By getting the flu shot, it causes antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies help fight infection using the viruses that are in the vaccine.

Flu season usually begins in October and ends around March. The peak time for the outbreak of flu begins in December and lasts till February, with February being the month with the most outbreaks. The best time to get the flu shot is in early Fall or by the end of October. This year the CDC has recommended to only receive an injectable flu shot and to not use the nasal spray flu vaccine.

Children who are between the ages of 6 months and 8 years old need two doses of the vaccine. They should get their first dose as soon as possible. The second dose can be administered at least 28 days apart from the first vaccine. If you have a child that is under 6 months old he is at risk of getting the flu and an even higher risk of having serious flu complications. The best way to prevent your children from contracting the flu is by both parents receiving a flu shot, also including everyone who is around the baby. Studies have shown to help protect a baby after birth from the flu for several months, the mother should receive a flu shot while pregnant.

Flu season is here. Make certain you and your family gets your vaccinations before the flu begins spreading in the community. Make an appointment today to get vaccinated.


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