Flu Season is Here

When is flu season? Flu season begins in October and runs through May, with peak flu activity in January and February. The best way to protect against the flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. The vaccine for the 2012-2013 season has arrived at many health providers, clinics, and other dispensing locations. Now is a good time to be vaccinated before the flu season gets started.

What is the flu? The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by receiving a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine this year will protect against the three most common influenza viruses. It takes about two weeks after the vaccination for the antibodies to develop that protect against influenza virus infection.

How can it spread? The flu virus can spread person to person when infected persons cough, sneeze or even talk within about 6 feet of others. Less often a person may get flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. Help protect yourself by washing your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol based hand rub. Do not share linens, eating utensils, or drink glasses.

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