Preparing for flu season - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Preparing for flu season

by Natalie Sparacio

Marshfield (WAOW)--It's hard to believe, but flu season is upon us.

This week's Living Well takes a look at why getting a flu shot is so important in protecting yourself and those around you.

Luckily, there is not a flu shot shortage this year, and Doctors at the Marshfield Clinic advise everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated.

Each year, flu season peaks at a different time, generally it's between January and March.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from the flu each year, and about 36,000 others die from it.

Eva Scheppa, RN, BSN at Marshfield Clinics say, "...last year it peaked in February, which means in all 50 states there was moderate activity of the flu happening, and it has happened as late as March in Wisconsin some years."

The flu is mainly spread from droplets in the air, when people sneeze and cough.

In order to prevent yourself from coming down with the sickness, along with getting the flu shot, you should wash your hands often, and keep your hands away from your face.

Each vaccine has three influenza viruses, the viruses in the vaccine differ each year based on scientists predictions about which types of strains of the viruses will circulate for that given year.

Scheppa says, "...even if the flu shot is not a direct match to the flu that's coming will allow you to not get as sick. There is still has some protection... even if it's not the right strain."

The flu shot is considered an inactivated vaccine, meaning that it contains a killed virus.

It's approved for anyone 6 months and older, and is usually given in the arm.

There s also a nasal-spray flu vaccine...made with live...weakened flu viruses, that do not cause the flu.

The spray is approved for healthy people between the ages of 2-49...who are not pregnant.

If you're looking to get a flu shot...visit and see when vaccine clinics are open in your community.

Living Well is produced in part and sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.

Online Reporter: Natalie Sparacio

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