That slight chill in the air means flu season is nearly upon us. Getting vaccinated is your best shot at sparing yourself from the aches, fever and fatigue of a bad bout of influenza.
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 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. Practice excellent hand hygiene to reduce your risk of catching the flu.
In Salisbury, you can 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 one day only this year: Thursday, October 13 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Arthur W. Perdue (Shorebirds) Stadium in Salisbury. The vaccine at the Drive-Thru Flu Clinic is quadrivalent this year, meaning it protects against four strains of the flu virus rather than the traditional three.
If you come to the drive-thru, make sure to wear a short-sleeved shirt or one that allows the nurses to easily access your upper arm. A donation of $10 per vaccination is requested. Participants must be at least 13 years of age, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.