Flu & You
As temperatures get chillier and people spend more time indoors, flu season sneaks in. Because the flu virus can infect the lungs, it can cause a serious complication like pneumonia -- which can require hospitalization, even lead to death. That's why certain people must get a flu shot.
October or November is the best time to get vaccinated, but you can still get vaccinated in December or later. Flu season can start as early as October and last as late as May.
If you live with or care for a child under 2 years old, you are in a priority group for flu shots. There are two types of fluvaccines: flu shots and nasal sprays. The flu shot vaccine is recommended for:
Others who could get Flu Mist nasal spray include healthy people 2-49 years old who are not pregnant. Also, protect yourself and your child from catching or spreading viruses:
- Children aged 6 months to 19 years.
- Pregnant women.
- People age 50 and older.
- People of any age with chronic medical conditions such as asthma
- People living in nursing homes or other long-term facilities.
- Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Throw it away afterward.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water -- especially important after you cough or sneeze on them. Use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if necessary.
- Keep you and your baby away from people who are coughing or sneezing.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth -- since that's how germs are spread
In 2009, the H1N1 swine flu, a new flu virus, emerged. This virus spreads from person to person like seasonal flu, mainly through coughing or sneezing or sometimes by touching something that became infected with the virus. A vaccine for swine flu is in production.