Flu season is upon us and while no one can predict what the flu season will be like, you can still try and prevent the flu from getting to your friends and family through vaccination.
When will flu season begin and when will it peak?
For the most part, flu activity typically occurs from October to May with peak season in the United States occurring from December to February.
How can I protect myself from the flu this year?
The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone 6 months and old should receive a yearly flu vaccine. You should get your yearly flu vaccine as soon as possible once the vaccines become available. If you have yet to receive the flu vaccine taking daily precautions such as washing your hands frequently and staying away from those who are sick can help reduce the spread of germs. If you do get sick with the flu, then reduce your risk of spreading the virus by staying out of work or school.
What to do if you end up with the flu?
If you or a loved one do end up catching the flu, then it is best to visit the doctor. Children younger than 2, adults 65 and older, people with certain medical conditions, and pregnant women have a higher risk of serious complications from the flu. These people along with those who have been hospitalized because of the flu should receive antiviral medical to combat the flu. Using antiviral medication as a treatment for the flu works best if started within 48 hours of becoming sick, but they can still work if prescribed later in the course of the illness.
How much of the flu vaccine will be available?
Flu vaccine manufacturers projected that 171 to 179 million doses will be available for the US market.
Why did I still get the flu if I got vaccinated?
It is possible to still contract the flu even though you were vaccinated. At least one of the following three things likely happened to cause you to get the flu:
-You were exposed to the flu virus before you were vaccinated or before that vaccination had enough time to take effect. It usually takes about 2 weeks after being vaccinated before the antibodies that provide protection to be produced.
-You were exposed to a flu virus that is not included in this year’s batch of flu vaccines. Every year that are difference types of flus and the flu vaccine is created to combat the 3 or 4 virus that are most common.
-Some contract the flu virus even after getting vaccinated and after the vaccination is in effect. Some people who suffer from certain chronic illnesses as well as older adults have the possibility of developing less immunity after vaccination.