As flu season kicks into high gear, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family and help prevent the spread of flu in your community. The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot every year. Everyone age six months and older should get a flu shot. The flu mist is not recommended this year.
You can find out where to get a flu shot in your area by
- Contacting your local health department
- Talking to your healthcare provider, or
- Using the vaccine locator to find a flu clinic near you.
It’s important to remember: the flu shot cannot give you the flu. The most common side effect of the flu shot is soreness at the spot where the shot was given.
The flu virus spreads easily by coughing, sneezing or talking. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it, and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose. Symptoms of flu may include fever (though not everyone with flu will have a fever), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, fatigue (tiredness), chills, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms usually appear one to three days after exposure. If you do get sick, stay home from work or school so you don’t make others sick!
VDH monitors the level of activity of influenza-like illness (ILI) each week from October through May, and publishes a weekly influenza report.
Did you know you can help fight the flu in under one minute per week? By submitting a weekly health report to Flu Near You, you can help track the flu in your community. It’s simple and anonymous.