It may still feel like summer outside, but this year’s flu season has already begun. Getting vaccinated is the best protection against flu and the Chatham County Health Department now has flu vaccine available. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over six months of age, including pregnant women.
“Flu seasons can vary in length and severity. The one thing that remains constant is the fact that influenza can be dangerous,” said Coastal Health District Health Director, Lawton Davis, M.D. “That’s why it is so important to get a flu shot every year.”
It takes about two weeks after getting a flu shot for the vaccine to provide the body with protection against the flu. While getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, there are other things we can all do every day to prevent getting or spreading the flu:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- Try to cough or sneeze into the corner of your elbow and not your hand or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
For more information or to download the vaccine consent form ahead of time, go to www.gachd.org/chathamflu.
Photo: Getty Images