The flu is caused by a virus that can make you sick. It can be spread by coughing, sneezing, person-to-person contact and touching contaminated surfaces. Symptoms can include fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue and even vomiting and diarrhea. Without proper prevention and treatment, the flu can be deadly. Everyone can get sick but some are at greater risk, including seniors, young children and pregnant women.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get the seasonal flu vaccine every year. The flu virus is constantly changing. Even if you got vaccinated last year, you may not be protected from the flu this year. Since the flu is most common throughout the fall and winter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months and older get the flu shot before October. Children under 6 months are too young to be vaccinated, so it is important that caregivers receive the vaccine. Also, make sure you talk to your doctor first about getting the shot if you have certain allergies or health conditions.
Overall, the flu vaccine is safe and effective. You will not get the flu from getting the shot, and serious reactions are rare. Not only does the vaccine protect you, it also protects the health of people around you. Fewer people will get sick if more people get vaccinated. Get your flu shot today to avoid sick days in bed and multiple trips to the doctor!
Learn more about the flu with Get Ready’s seasonal flu fact sheet, and find where you can get the flu shot here.