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