Vaccine Is the Best Defense Against the Flu

Published On 01/11/2013

Influenza is on the rise across the country, according to the most recent weekly report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Shelby County is among those experiencing an increased level of activity early this season.

"The flu season is upon us," said Helen Morrow, M.D., health officer for the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD). "It is not too late to get vaccinated. If you have not been vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to receive the vaccine to protect yourself and others."

Flu vaccination is safe, effective and recommended for anyone six months of age or older. It is especially important for those at higher risk of complications, including pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly. The CDC also recommends all health care workers become vaccinated each year to protect themselves and their patients.

Some tips to help protect against the spread of influenza include:

  • Clean: Properly wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water; disinfect surfaces.
  • Cover: Cover your cough and sneeze into a disposable tissue or your arm.
  • Contain: Stay home from school/work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.

If an individual experiences flu-like symptoms, they should contact their health care provider. Symptoms include:

  • Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat