Flu Season

A woman receiving flu vaccine
A woman receiving flu vaccine

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease, are at high risk for serious flu complications.

An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

Flu vaccination should begin soon after vaccine becomes available, ideally by October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even in January or later. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.

Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

  • The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and when you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school.

For information contact the Plainville-Southington Regional Health District at 860-276-6275.