Whether or not you got the COVID shot, please get the flu vaccine

Published 2:44 pm Friday, November 18, 2022

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It might seem pointless to urge people to get a flu shot after all we’ve been through.
But there are plenty of people who have refused to get a COVID-19 immunization because they don’t think the disease is that big a deal or they don’t trust the science behind the shots or they thought somebody might force them to get one and just put their foot down against even a voluntary vaccination.
And, there are some that don’t think the flu is a big deal. It isn’t until you get it. The flu is raging. Ballad Health officials have been seeing flu cases since mid-September. By November Ballad said they saw over 800 positive cases in their system and the number keeps climbing.
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Some people, such as people 65 years and older, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at higher risk of serious flu complications. There are two main types of influenza (flu) viruses: types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people (human influenza viruses) are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.
The best way to reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications is by getting vaccinated each year.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu shot for anyone six months old and older.
It’s true that last year’s flu season was exceptionally mild, mostly because the precautions a lot of people took to prevent the spread of COVID-19 also worked to stop the spread of the flu.
People were staying home, and when they did venture out, they were avoiding close contact and wearing masks. They were washing their hands more often.
The numbers were lower also because people were steering clear of doctors’ offices and health clinics. When they did get sick, they stayed home, so a lot of flu cases went undiagnosed and unreported.
Now, though, people are getting out more. They’re back to work and school, and they’re just generally spending more time around other people. That makes it more likely that they’ll catch and spread the flu.
Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever* or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue (tiredness), and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
It’s important to note that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
Flu vaccines are often available at little to no cost at providers across the state. Doctors recommend everyone age six months and older get their flu shot.
Flu season runs from October through May, and the peak is between December and March. It takes about two weeks for your immunity to take effect, so the time to get your shot is now.

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