Denton County Public Health said in a news release last week that it is encouraging community members to get the flu vaccine to protect themselves and others before the end of October.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, preventive measures like flu vaccines can help lower the possibility of illness and lower the demand on medical providers and hospitals throughout the flu season, according to DCPH. Though the severity of each flu season in Denton County can be unpredictable, seasonal flu activity begins to increase in the fall and tends to peak between December through February.
Don’t wait to vaccinate, DCPH says; protect yourself and those you love today.
“While COVID numbers are declining, we can’t ignore the seasonal flu. Vaccines allow us to enjoy the holidays in the coming months with our friends and families, and flu shots can keep us healthy throughout the flu season,” said Dr. Matt Richardson, DCPH director. “It is important to remember that flu vaccines take two weeks to become effective in preventing the flu. Get your flu vaccine now so you don’t have to worry about it later.”
DCPH recommends a three-pronged approach to fighting the flu:
- Get vaccinated. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to get an annual flu shot, and the flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
- Remember that antiviral medications are a second-line defense against the flu. If you are experiencing fever, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and headaches, visit your doctor immediately, and take antivirals if prescribed. These remedies can help you recover quicker, and can potentially prevent you from being hospitalized with flu complications.
- Take everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. Preventive actions practiced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic help slow the spread of influenza, too. Wearing a mask, washing and sanitizing your hands often, and staying home when feeling unwell can help prevent many respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
DCPH reminds residents that vaccination is a community effort that not only protects yourself, but also family, friends and those around you. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every flu season. Vaccinating also helps safeguard those who are at the highest risk of complications or death from the flu, including:
- Pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum
- Children younger than five
- Adults 65 years of age and older
- People living in long-term care facilities
- Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic or Latinos, and American Indians and Alaskan Natives
- People with chronic health conditions such as asthma, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, weakened immune system due to disease or medication, kidney and liver disorders, and people with extreme obesity.