- By Deborah Balzer
Infectious Diseases A-Z: Fight the flu with an influenza shot
Have you had your flu shot? Consider this. Dec. 3 - 9 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a reminder that everyone 6 months and older should be encouraged to get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports higher than usual flu activity around the U.S. than is usually seen this time of year.
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"People always ask me, 'Why do I have to get a flu shot every single year,' as with other vaccines, you can just get a booster shot every once in awhile," says Dr. Bhide. "With influenza, because it can change year -to- year and the immunization is very specific to the strain, you have to get the vaccine every single year."
The 2017 - 2018 vaccine offers protection against the H1N1 flu virus, in addition to two other flu viruses. A vaccine that protects against four strains of the virus is also available, as well as a high-dose flu vaccine for adults 65 and older.
Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of flu complications, including:
- Pregnant women
- Older adults
- Young children
Common signs and symptoms of flu include:
- Fever over 100.4 F
- Aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
- Chills and sweats
- Dry, persistent cough
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat