The 2018-2019 flu season has arrived! What you can do to minimize risk. – KV Healthy Living

The 2018-2019 flu season has arrived! What you can do to minimize risk.

KVH Family Medicine has flu vaccines available: When should you get your shot?

Klickitat Valley Health is ready for the 2018-2019 flu season with a stock of this year’s influenza vaccine, but that doesn’t mean everyone should run out and get their flu shots right this minute. You should indeed get vaccinated this fall, but  timing is important, especially for certain individuals.

When should folks in Klickitat County get the flu shot?

Keep in mind that peak flu season for the region is December through the start of spring. Waiting until the end of October or into early November is most important for individuals who are pregnant, seniors and anyone with a compromised immune system. Don’t worry if you haven’t got your shot yet.  Full protection goes into effect about 10 to 14 days after receiving the shot.

Who should get the flu shot?

The answer is simple: If you’re older than 6 months of age, just get vaccinated. It’s the socially responsible thing to do. None of us want to be the dreaded spreader. You may be the type of person who rarely gets ill, or who has mild symptoms when you do get sick, but that’s not a reason to skip out on the shot.

The flu is a very nasty infection. It can take a perfectly healthy child or adult and put them in the intensive care unit in 48 hours. No one can’t predict who that will be. The only way to prevent such occurrences is getting vaccinated. It will help protect you and those around you.

Who is at higher risk for complications with the flu?

Three populations who should make getting the flu shot a top priority: pregnant women, individuals over the age of 65 and anyone under 65 with a chronic illness, like heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.

For pregnant women, the vaccine is twofold. The protection you develop passes through to your baby and will provide some protection during the baby’s first six months of life. Anyone around individuals who are at risk of flu complications should prioritize getting a flu shot this fall to help create a community of protection.

What do we know about this year’s flu season and the vaccine’s protection?

The first thing to count on is that there will be flu.  Information about severity and strains shouldn’t be a deciding factor on whether individuals get their flu shots. The flu shot itself is not perfect, but it can drastically help protect you in many ways.

And even if you do get the shot and later contract the flu, the vaccine does offer some protection against severity. Overall, you’re less likely to get the complication of pneumonia and you’re less likely to die.  Although no one likes to get sick, it’s better to have milder symptoms than ones that land you in the hospital or put you in bed for weeks.

Come by KVH Family Medicine for your flu shot, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call 509.773.4017 for more information.

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