Heading into flu season

"Flu Shots" by KOMU News, CC BY 2.0

INDIANAPOLIS (Network Indiana) – Fall and winter in Indiana are prime flu seasons, so Hoosier doctors have some advice on how to stay safe.

Dr. Blocher-Smith with IU Health is encouraging everyone over six months to get the flu vaccine, unless you have a specific condition that would make the vaccine inadvisable.  He says this year’s shot is looking effective against current strains.

Health officials often look at trends in Australia and southern Asia to try and determine how serious the flu will be in the United States.  Blocher-Smith says the rates of death and infection were higher in Australia this year than in the past few years, making vaccination even more important.

The doctor also notes that the continued presence of COVID puts people at risk for not just one, but two widespread viruses.  He stresses the importance of getting vaccinated against both illnesses.

For many, flu symptoms can be managed at home.  However, young children, elderly people, those with breathing conditions like asthma, and the immunocompromised are at a higher risk of serious illness or death.

There are solutions, though.  Covering your coughs/sneezes, keeping your hands washed, wearing a mask, and staying home when sick are effective ways to avoid spreading the flu.

If you are sick and are either high-risk or are not improving, you should seek medical care as quickly as possible.  Certain, anti-viral medications and other treatments could help.

You can learn more about the vaccine and its makeup through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.  Click here for more information.

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