Flu season is just around the corner, and the sooner you get your flu shot, the better. It can take up to two weeks for immunization to become effective, and by that time we may already begin to experience flu outbreaks in our area.
“The flu shot is a great place to start in helping to fight the flu,” said Joanne Roberts, M.D., chief medical officer atProvidence Regional Medical Center Everett. “Other lines of defense against the flu include washing your hands; avoiding close contact during influenza season; staying at home when you are sick; covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; and avoiding touching your face. Many common surfaces that we touch every day, from carts at the grocery store to door handles, can carry germs that help spread the flu.”
In addition, Roberts encourages you and your family to eat healthy, exercise and get adequate rest, all of which can help decrease the chance of becoming ill, or reduce severity if you or someone you love gets sick.
Flu shots are encouraged for patients 6 months and older, including pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses.
It’s important to receive the flu shot every year because vaccines are tailored to address the changes in flu strains. Flu symptoms include fever, difficulty breathing, cough and head and muscle ache.
To determine if the flu shot is right for you, please contact your doctor.