- The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. The flu season can last
into the spring, so getting your flu shot in October gives you the best protection for
the whole season.
- Ask for the quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against an additional strain of the
flu compared to the trivalent.
- EVERYONE needs to be vaccinated – to protect themselves, as well as their loved
ones, coworkers and those around them!
- The flu can cause serious health problems especially in children younger than age 2,
adults 65 and older, and adults and children who already have health conditions.
Check out the new Flu flyer with more tips for the upcoming flu season!
Find a flu vaccine near you!
Click here for our Flu Vaccine Resource sheet – area pharmacies and clinics
What is the flu?
The flu is a contagious illness caused by flu viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can be mild to severe. The flu is different than a cold – they are caused by different viruses. A cold will usually not make you as sick as the flu, and is less likely to cause serious health problems. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
What’s new this flu season?
- Only flu shots are recommended for use this season. The FluMist nasal spray is not available this season, because studies suggest it has not been as effective as the flu shot in recent years.
- Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
- There will be some new vaccines on the market this season.
- The recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have changed.
For more information on what’s new this season, visit the CDC’s *NEW* Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2016-2017 Influenza Season
Who is at highest risk of getting very sick from the flu?
Young children are at greater risk of complications from the flu, especially children under 2 and children with other health issues. For more information, visit CDC’s page on children and the flu.
People 65+ are also at greater risk of complications from the flu. For more information, visit CDC’s flu page for seniors.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (very tired)
- Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)
*Not everyone with flu will have a fever.
How does the flu spread?
The flu spreads when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk and spread droplets onto other people or surfaces. People with the flu can pass it to others even before they feel sick themselves.
How can I prevent the flu?
The first and most important step you can take to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination each year. You can also take other simple steps to stay healthy:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you don’t have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Cover your own coughs and sneezes, and stay home when you are sick.
What if I get the flu?
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.). They may prescribe antiviral drugs. Antivirals are different from antibiotics. They can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They also can prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia. Not everyone with the flu needs antivirals, so talk to your health care provider.
Community Flu Planning Partners
The organizations listed below are working together to provide consistent flu-related messaging and access to flu vaccinations, to increase vaccination rates and protect our community from the flu.