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This Year’s Flu Season and Your Risk

kelly-sikkema-516850 (1)Recent news reports are saying that this year’s flu season hasn’t peaked yet, and the flu is widespread in every state except Hawaii. In some states, the number of flu cases may continue to rise over the next few weeks. What is making this year different, and should you be concerned? Each year different strains of the flu affect people, and this year the H3N2 virus is the most common influenza virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people are affected and hospitalized from H3N2 than from other flu strains. Most healthy people who get the flu recover in less than two weeks. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it is best to make an appointment to see your doctor, who can determine if you have the flu and if you may be at risk for complications. The flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. That means it is not too late to get a flu shot, which is the best way to reduce your risk of getting the flu. If you get the flu even after you get a flu shot, the flu vaccine may make your illness milder and reduce your risk of having to go to the hospital. In addition to the flu shot, there are other measures you can take to protect yourself: • Wash your hands often• Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze• If you get the flu, stay home until you feel better If you have any questions or concerns about the flu or flu vaccine, call your primary care doctor for more information.


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