Flu season is nearly upon us – the first cases of the season are often caught in September. The best way of protecting yourself and everyone else around you is by getting vaccinated.
Flu shots are made using inactivated virus, so you can’t catch the flu from a flu shot. It is possible to catch the flu despite having the vaccine, but the good news is that your symptoms will likely be less severe.
If you have children who need to be vaccinated, keep in mind that in 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending that healthy children ages 2-8 get the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine, as it may be more effective. Your child’s pediatrician can provide the best recommendations for your child.
If you think you may have flu symptoms, call your primary care doctor. If your symptoms are caught early enough and you’re at high risk of complications, you might be a candidate for an antiviral medication. Otherwise, your doctor can recommend over-the-counter treatments, and will likely prescribe lots of rest and fluids, and make sure that you know the warning signs of a flu-related emergency, such as rapid/difficult breathing, confusion and chest or abdomen pain.
If you have the flu, try to stay at home. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning a day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick, the CDC says. Staying home when you have the flu is important to protect others.
Get your flu shot without even leaving the comfort of your car: Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s annual Drive-Thru Flu Clinic will be held on Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at Arthur W. Perdue (Shorebirds) Stadium in Salisbury. A donation of $10 per vaccination is requested. You must be at least 13 years of age.