Now that summer is over, flu season is around the corner. It usually begins in October and continues through the winter months with peak activity in January and February. Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs). Unlike many other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, the flu can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people. Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza. Health experts across the country recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine.
Each year in the United States (on average) an estimated 5-20 percent of the population will be infected with the flu, and more than 200,000 people may be hospitalized during a single flu season. Don’t be part of this statistic – get yourself and your family vaccinated. Check with your doctor and/or neighborhood pharmacy to see when they will start carrying the vaccine. You can also find a flu vaccination clinic near you using the vaccine finder.