September 25, 2019 – It is the official start of flu season and cases
of Influenza have already been reported in some areas in Georgia. While
peak flu season typically runs December through March, Southeast Georgia
Health System health care professionals are urging residents to get the
flu shot early. It takes two weeks for antibodies to develop and help
protect you from getting the flu. Everyone must take the flu seriously
and protect themselves and others by ensuring that all eligible family
members are vaccinated.
“Most people who get the flu have a mild illness. But for some, it
can be serious — and even deadly. Serious complications from the
flu are more likely in babies and young children, pregnant women, older
adults, and people with certain long-term health conditions — like
diabetes or asthma,” explains
Steven Mosher, M.D., board-certified physician,
Infectious Disease Care Center. “Receiving a flu vaccination if you are healthy helps to prevent
illness with the most vulnerable, therefore vaccination is recommended
for everyone 6 month of age or older. Getting vaccinated against the flu
can be lifesaving and can also help slow the spread of the illness throughout
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research
indicates will be most common during the upcoming season, which is why
it’s necessary to get a vaccine each year. While a flu vaccine cannot
give you the flu, there are different side effects that may be associated
with getting a flu shot, including: soreness, redness, or swelling where
the shot was given; fever (low grade), and aches. These side effects are
mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of a bad
case of flu.
The flu is contagious, meaning it can spread from person to person. People
can spread the flu before they know they’re sick — and while
they have the flu. In addition to the flu vaccine, additional everyday
precautions can also be taken to help prevent the spread of flu. The Centers
for Disease Control recommend the following:
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with flu–like illness, stay home for at least 24
hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other
necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw
the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available,
use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Southeast Georgia Physician Associate practices offer the flu vaccine, including pediatric, primary care, family
medicine centers, internal medicine and pulmonary medicine. Please contact
your health care provider or call 1-855-ASK-SGHS (1-855-275-7447) for
more information on a location to obtain a flu vaccine.