Get the Flu Shot, Not the Flu

Make getting a flu vaccine part of your winter preparations. Unpack your favorite sweater and boots, stock up on hot chocolate and, most importantly, get your flu shot. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between December and February according to the CDC.

The flu vaccination has been shown to prevent flu illnesses, doctors’ visits and hospitalization and can be life-saving in children. If you haven’t gotten a flu vaccine yet, it’s a great idea to get that done soon before you gather with friends and family for Thanksgiving.

The Shawnee County Health Department will be offering free flu shots for people without insurance at the library on Wed, Nov 20, 10am – noon. If you have insurance, you can get a flu shot at your doctor’s office or most pharmacies.

Who should get the vaccine?

The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months should receive the vaccine every year. The vaccine is especially important for those at a high risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections due to influenza. Those at most risk are people over 65, pregnant women, young children and people with asthma, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other conditions that affect one’s immune system. Anyone who has contact with people in this high-risk group should also make the flu shot a top priority.

Healthy Habits to Stop the Spread of the Flu

According to the CDC, while getting your flu shot is the most important step in flu prevention, there are six healthy habits we can all practice to help stop the spread of the flu virus.

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, and vice-versa, if you are sick keep your distance from others
  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your arm when coughing and sneezing to help prevent airborne germs form infecting those around you.
  • Clean your hands frequently, whether with soap and water, or of that is not available, hand sanitizer works as well.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. When you touch something that has come into contact with germs, touching your eyes, nose or mouth is the easiest way to get sick.
  • Practice good health habits. Keep your surroundings clean and disinfected. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, stay hydrated, eat healthy foods and try to manage your stress.
  • Lastly, if you are sick, stay home. When possible, stay home from school, work, errands and social events.

The library’s health neighborhood is home to many books with tips to help you stay healthy this winter and all year long.

View complete list

Washburn University Journalism student Sarah Miller is our communications intern for winter 2019.