Flu season is upon us and the Winnebago County Health Department wants to keep you healthy by offering several flu and pneumonia vaccination clinics.
The agency recommends all individuals above the age of six months get the flu vaccination to protect themselves from the flu, which can be fatal. The flu season starts around October and peaks in January and February, however, peak time can vary. The vaccination will give protection throughout the season.
The flu affects the nose, throat, and lungs and can lead to pneumonia and bronchitis, hospitalization, or death. It's spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, chills, fatigue, cough, headache, and muscle aches. It can also agitate conditions like diabetes, asthma, and heart and lung disease.
This season's shot will protect individuals from the A H3N2 virus, the A H1N1 virus, and the influenza B virus. The viruses in the shot are dead, so you cannot get the virus from the vaccination. Normal side effects are a sore arm or redness around the injection site. The vaccine usually takes around two weeks to fully develop in your body.
Young children, pregnant women, people who care for kids under six months of age, people with chronic health conditions, healthcare workers, and people 65 and older are especially encouraged to get the shot.
To prevent the spread of the flu, wash your hands regularly, cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing, and contain your germs by staying home if you're sick.
You can find a full schedule of flu shot clinics at www.wchd.org or by calling 815-720-4264. You can also see them at the link to the left of this story.
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