September 29, 2011

It’s autumn, that time of year when our thoughts turn to influenza. The flu is highly contagious. Even if you don’t get sick, you can still make somebody else sick. That’s why it’s important that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot.

Why get vaccinated?

People can spread the flu even if they don't think they’re sick. Babies, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are the most likely to be hospitalized or die from flu-related illness. However, most people don’t realize that young, healthy, unvaccinated children and adults can pass the flu to others.

The flu isn’t just a bad cold

Getting a flu shot can lessen the time lost at work and with family due to illness, and saves thousands of lives. Some stories about how influenza can affect families: Faces of Influenza»

Get vaccinated early

Flu season lasts through March and public health officials say it’s best to be vaccinated early for optimal protection. Plenty of vaccine is available and has already been distributed throughout the U.S.

Even if you got a flu shot last year, you should get one this year too. The vaccine is the same combination and includes protection from the H1N1 virus. See your healthcare provider, pharmacist or drug store.

Other things you can do:

More simple steps to help keep you, your family and your community safe:

  • Wash your hands. Wash vigorously and use soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze. Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose. Throw the tissue in the trash after one use.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.

More Information:

Think you know everything about the flu? Test your flu I.Q.»