It’s flu season in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the American Medical Association, U.S. Food & Drug Administration and other expert health organizations, recommend the 2021-22 flu vaccine for everyone age six months and older. The vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting the flu and its potentially serious complications.
Swope Health is ready to support you. You can ask for a flu vaccine at your next visit or call 816-923-5800 to schedule an appointment. The best time to get a shot for the flu is before November, so you are protected early in the season. Flu season peaks from December to February and can extend into May.
“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting a flu vaccination is especially important for people who are at higher risk of developing complications,” said Jennifer Frost, MD, interim chief medical officer for Swope Health. “This includes people 65 or older, anyone with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart or kidney disease, women who are pregnant, and anyone with a weakened immune system.”
You can help prevent the spread of the flu with a vaccination and by taking action to prevent the spread of germs. These actions include frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with people who are sick, and wearing a mask around others. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze using your elbow or a tissue (and throw away the tissue!). Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that are frequently touched can also help to reduce the spread of germs.
“Getting a flu vaccine can lower your chances of coming down with the flu,” Dr. Frost said. “It’s the best tool we have for preventing flu illness.”
Flu symptoms include cough, sore throat, fever and runny or stuffy nose. Some people experience body aches, headache, chills, vomiting and diarrhea. People also may be infected without having a fever. If you have a fever and other symptoms, you should stay home and avoid infecting other people. Check with your primary care clinician about antiviral medications that might help prevent serious flu conditions.
Learn more about the flu from the CDC: