This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and we are entering the peak of flu season. Receiving a flu vaccination can reduce flu illness, doctor’s visits, and missed work or school, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death.
Everyone in your family who is six months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting your shot today.
Flu symptoms may include:
- sore throat,
- runny or stuffy nose,
- muscle or body aches,
- headaches, and
Flu germs are spread by tiny droplets when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. Those droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.
According to the 2018 South Carolina State Health Assessment, many South Carolinians are receiving their flu shots, even above the national average. During the 2016-17 flu season, South Carolina had the second highest percent of adults 18 years and older who received the flu vaccine among the southern states (45.2%). Be in that number and get your shot today. Pregnant women should especially speak to their doctor about flu vaccination, as they are at an increased risk for a severe case of the flu due to changes in their immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy. Flu can cause severe reactions to the mother as well present adverse outcomes for the infant.
DHEC offers the flu vaccine at all public health clinics. Find a clinic near you by visiting https://www.scdhec.gov/health/health-public-health-clinics.