Flu Arrives Early, Docs Encourage Shots

October 4, 2013

Oklahoma City Float Pool Manager Kristin Do, RN, gets her flu shot.
All Mercy co-workers receive flu shots to help protect
themselves and the millions of people they serve each year.

It’s coming earlier than usual this year. The dreaded three-letter illness that sneaks up on its victims and knocks them out for days, weeks or worse. Seasonal flu is back, and it’s getting a head start.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates the normal flu season peaks in January or February in the U.S. and occurs as early as October and as late as May. Mercy docs started reporting cases of flu in early September.

This time of year, lots of questions fly around about the flu. Hopefully, this will clear up some confusion.

Flu Facts (supported by CDC):

  • Everyone six months and older should get vaccinated, including pregnant women.

  • Nasal vaccines are not recommended for pregnant women or children younger than two years old.

  • One vaccine will protect you all season.

  • The flu shot will not give you the flu. The viruses in flu shots are dead, so they can’t cause infection.

  • Most common side effects of getting flu shots are soreness and redness at the shot site.

  • It takes the body about two weeks to gain protection after getting vaccinated. It’s possible to become ill with the flu in that time window.

  • It’s possible to become sick with a strain of flu that the flu shot won’t combat. Flu vaccines are designed to protect against viruses experts predict will be the most common during the upcoming season. The 2013-2014 trivalent flu vaccine is made from these three most common viruses:

  • Influenza A (H1N1)

  • Influenza A (H3N2)

  • Influenza B

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