Have you had your flu shot yet? I know, you’re probably thinking it’s too early. But it’s actually just the right time to get the shot, if you choose to do it. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot and they say October is the perfect time for it.
The flu season usually peaks between November and March. Of course, this year it may be hard to tell when the flu peaks or how many people actually have the flu. That’s because the government shutdown has tied the hands of the researchers at the CDC who usually track those statistics. I don’t care which side of the political fence you are on, that is just wrong!
At any rate, it may be harder to tell if there is a big outbreak of flu in your area. I usually recommend the websites like flufacts.com or flu.gov as resources to help you know your risk of getting the flu, either at home or if you are traveling. But this year, I don’t know how accurate those numbers are going to be until the government gets back up to speed.
If you get the flu, there are prescription medications that are designed to fight the flu virus and help you get better faster. But you have to take them within the first 48 hours of feeling sick to get the best results. One of those medications called Tamiflu even claims that people who were exposed to the flu and took Tamiflu before they had symptoms never got sick at all. So if you think you might be at risk, talk to your doctor to see if you can get a prescription right away.
Make sure you know what symptoms to watch for so you’ll know if you need to start a flu treatment. Just think of the flu F.A.C.T.S. to help you remember – Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness and Sudden onset of symptoms.
Whatever you do, don’t count on luck to keep you healthy. I am very proactive about not catching the flu. And I think that is one of the big downfalls of the flu shot. It gives you too much of a false sense of protection.