Flu Vaccine: It’s Not Too Late to Get Protected

flu, vaccine, shotIf you haven’t been vaccinated for the flu this season, it’s not too late. You can still help protect yourself and others from the flu virus by getting vaccinated.

In fact, if you get vaccinated, it may cut your chances of getting the flu and needing to see a doctor by about half, according to early estimates from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated for the flu annually. Flu activity currently remains widespread across the country with high activity in many states, including Virginia.

Most people who get the flu recover in less than two weeks. However, some people are more likely to get complications such as sinus and ear infections and pneumonia. Other serious complications can include inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues and multi-organ failure. People with asthma may have asthma attacks while they have the flu.

If you think you have the flu, antiviral medications may help reduce your symptoms and help you recover faster. Flu antiviral drugs work best if you take them within two days of getting sick. They can prevent serious flu complications such as pneumonia. People at high risk of serious flu complications should be treated with an antiviral drug because it could help prevent them from being hospitalized. Contact your health care provider promptly to get treatment if you think you have the flu.

Unlike colds, the flu usually comes on suddenly. Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Not everyone who has the flu will have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea is more common in children than adults.

+ Find a health care provider at Bon Secours Hampton Roads.