Friday, Sep 23, 2016
Harbin Clinic invites everyone to battle the flu this year, and getting a flu shot is the starting point.
“Getting a flu shot is really the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting the flu, and there is clear evidence that it reduces the frequency and severity of flu cases,” Harbin Clinic Family Physician Dr. Jayson Fields says.
Flu season typically runs from October through March. In Georgia, as much as five to 20 percent of the population gets the flu every season, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually in the United States from flu-related complications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes children under the age of five, adults over the age of 65 and pregnant women all run a higher risk of developing flu-related complications and need to ensure they get a flu shot.
“We often think about elderly people being at risk from influenza, but children are actually hospitalized and die from influenza at rates greater than or equal to the elderly,” Harbin Clinic Pediatrician Dr. Tammy Williams says.
The first step in protecting against the flu is getting a yearly flu shot as soon as possible, preferably before or during October, the first month of flu season. Harbin Clinic recommends individuals six months and older get a new flu shot every year as the strains of flu virus are constantly changing.
The flu virus can be spread through coughs, sneezes and dirty hands.
To help protect against the flu, flu fighters also need to follow these steps:
- Get a flu shot to prevent against this year’s strains of the flu virus
- Wash your hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds
- Use a tissue to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough
- Stay home if you begin exhibiting flu symptoms
By getting a flu shot and practicing these good, flu-fighting habits, patients can help halt the spread of the flu. Harbin patients should contact internal medicine, family medicine or pediatrics to schedule their flu shot.