Flu season is just around the corner. Although the height of flu season in the U.S. primarily peaks in January and February, it can begin as early as October and occur as late as May. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone 6 months of age and older get the flu vaccine:

“For everyone, getting vaccinated each year provides the best protection against influenza throughout flu season. It’s important to get a flu vaccine every year, even if you got vaccinated the season before and the viruses in the vaccine have not changed for the current season.” – CDC

Family Medicine Associates reminds you to call and make an appointment for your vaccine today!
(860) 388 – 9250

How does the flu vaccine work?

2013/2014 Flu SeasonFlu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. Flu viruses are constantly changing, so it’s not unusual for new flu virus strains to appear each year, they can even change within the course of one flu season.

What are the predictions for this season?

Flu Virus under MicroscopeFlu VIrus under microscopeFlu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways. Although epidemics of flu happen every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another. The vaccines are designed to protect against the influenza viruses that experts predict will be the most common during the upcoming season.

Each year, one flu virus of each kind is used to produce the seasonal influenza vaccine. Three kinds of viruses commonly circulate: Influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B.

Most of the flu vaccine offered for the 2013-2014 season will be trivalent (three component). Some seasonal flu vaccines will be formulated to protect against four flu viruses (quadrivalent flu vaccines) and will be available as well according to manufacturers. All nasal spray vaccines are expected to be quadrivalent, however, this makes up only a small portion of total vaccine availability. Consult with your health care providers to determine if and when you should be vaccinated.

Take 3 Actions to Fight the Flu

#1 Take Time…

…to get a flu vaccine: Everyone 6 months and old should get a flu vaccine as soon as the current season’s vaccines are available. The flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.

#2 Take Everyday Preventative Actions…

…to stop the spread of germs: Avoid close contact with sick people, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, clean and disinfect surfaces and objects, and if you’re sick, avoid contact with other people.

#3 Take Flu Antiviral Drugs…

…if your doctor prescribes them: Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They can make your illness milder or shorten the time you are sick. Studies show antiviral drugs work best for treatment if they are started within 2 days of getting sick.

Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 
 

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