Not too late for that flu shot
I’m usually pretty good about getting things done when I’m supposed to get them done. Whether it’s bills being paid, tasks I volunteered for in the organizations I’m part of or job responsibilities, I’m usually on time about 95 percent of the time.
However, when it comes to some things medically, I fail miserably. One timely example is getting my influenza shot.
After doing some research and reading about the severe outbreak in our state right now, which is expected to get worse, I actually got my influenza shot on Tuesday.
I’ve been lucky so far—haven’t had a touch of any flu symptoms, except for a nagging cough that just wouldn’t go away last fall. I’m hoping to hang on for another two weeks until the vaccine is fully effective.
I was told even though I’m getting the vaccine late in the season, it’s still worth it. It will lessen the severity if I do contract influenza.
Being over that nice age of 60 now, I’m in the age group where the flu vaccine should be a priority (actually, it’s 65 and older—I’m not quite there yet). But children, pregnant women and residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities are highly encouraged to get the vaccine each season, too.
And while we have had at least seven confirmed flu cases at our clinic here, there are likely more in the area. That means it’s important to know how it’s spread and how to avoid getting the flu—wash hands, wash hand, wash hands. That’s a big one, health professionals say. It’s also important to cover your coughs and sneezes because that’s the main way people spread it. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at home, work and school.
One of the hardest things to do is to STAY HOME after you’ve been sick but are feeling better. Unfortunately, people can spread the flu virus even before they experience symptoms, and for at least 24 hours after their fever has gone. Just stay home if you have symptoms.
There’s much of the flu season left, too. In the past 34 years of tracking, February has proven to be the month most prevalent for flu. But, flu activity can last as late as May.
As we enter 2018, let’s all hope for a healthy year in our homes. Take the precautions you need for preventing influenza. It sounds like it’s a nasty strain this year; let’s all do our part.