(WSIL) — According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), every year the flu sickens millions of Americans, hospitalizes hundreds of thousands, and kills tens of thousands.
Flu season runs October through May. Catching the flu can be as easy as standing in line next to someone who has flu symptoms. Fortunately, protecting yourself against the flu is easy. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend everyone over 6 months of age get a flu shot before he end of the month. It takes up to two weeks for protection to develop after the vaccination.
“Getting sick with the flu may not be that bad for you, but for others, it can mean weeks of illness and in the worst cases, death,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We have a responsibility to protect those who can’t protect themselves because they are under six months of age or have chronic health problems like cancer or heart disease. If you get the flu vaccine and don’t get sick, you help protect Illinoisans who are not able to be vaccinated.”
In addition to getting your flu vaccine, IDPH recommends following the 3 Cs: clean, cover, and contain.
Flu viruses spread when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of the following symptoms:
Influenza antiviral drugs can be a second line of defense for people who get sick with the flu. Many studies have found that in addition to lessening the duration and severity of symptoms, antiviral drugs can prevent flu complications.
Below are some of the locations in southern Illinois that are offering flu shots. You can also check with your medical provider or pharmacy of choice to see if they have the vaccine on hand.