Flu Season is Approaching, Here is What You Need to Know

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It is that time of the year again. Flu season is upon us. Scroll to learn about what you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Sydney Appleton, News Editor

The return of flu season is approaching rapidly, and the yearly rush of getting flu shots, securing disinfecting sprays, and managing to stay well is already beginning. 

Starting in the early fall months, the numbers of influenza virus cases rise. They typically peak in January and then continue to fall throughout the later winter months. During this time, other viruses and illnesses are more likely to spread throughout our community. One of these viruses is the common cold. For decades, this virus has spread across the world leaving people with congestion, sore throats, and coughs. Although scientists and doctors study colds each year, there is no vaccine for them.  

Unlike the common cold, there is an option to get vaccinated against the influenza virus. It is recommended that anyone ages six months and older receives a flu vaccine in the months of September or October. This allows for the vaccine to form antibodies in your body before the season is in full effect. 

Allow the vaccine does not offer full protection against contracting the virus, it does lessen the chances of severe flu illness. In other words, if you were to contract the flu after having received a flu shot, the chances of you becoming seriously ill or dying are extremely low. This is similar to the COVID-19 vaccines that have recently become widely available.  

On top of getting the flu vaccine, there are more ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming ill. Hand sanitizers and antibacterial gel can help keep germs off your hands and body, which minimizes the risk of germs getting into your system. In addition to this, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and other big-box retailers carry disinfectant wipes, sprays, and towels. These products can be used to wipe down highly touched surfaces like doorknobs, handles, and tables, which can also minimize the spread.  

On top of these actions, there are simple things that we can do to significantly reduce the rate at which flu cases spread. Covering our mouth when coughing, staying home when we do not feel well, and washing our hands regularly for at least 20 seconds are just a few of the ways you can protect yourself and others from viruses and illnesses this year.  

To track the number of flu cases in your community and to monitor the rates of which the virus is spreading, click the link below to access the CDC’s website: 

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm