The Flu & You
We just completed an incredibly successful flu vaccination clinic in cooperation with Montrose County, the City and City Market. One thousand one hundred and eighty-seven vaccinations were given at three locations. The event was organized, fun, smooth and full of volunteers, laughter and a true sense of helping our community stay healthy. We appreciate the planning committees’ time and attention to detail and to Teri Watkins at Montrose County for her leadership! MMH looks forward to year six of this collaboration in 2019.
For those of you who participated – thank you for taking an active role in your health and prevention. Getting the flu shot not only helps protect you, but also those around you. If you have not yet received a flu shot, we all encourage you to go get one! Check with your care provider, your local pharmacy or Health and Human Services to arrange a time. It’s not too late! According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies that protect you against the flu to develop in the body, so that’s why they recommend getting vaccinated early in the fall – before flu season begins. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial, even into January or later.
It is very difficult to predict what flu season will be like because the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to the next. The flu virus is constantly changing and evolving, so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year-another reason to receive your vaccination consistently every year. Flu “season” as it called is most commonly November through February, however, it has been known to last into May. CDC monitors certain key flu indicators, i.e.; outpatient visits of influenza-like illness, laboratory test results and reports of hospitalizations and deaths due to the flu.
In addition to the flu vaccine, what can we all do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from getting the flu? Handwashing is the number one thing we can all do to stop the spread of the germs. Wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer and cover your cough. If you are sick, please stay home to help prevent spreading the flu to others. We hear too often, “but I don’t feel that bad,” however you are spreading your illness around to others during this time.
Most importantly, we want our Friends and Family to take care of themselves and stay out of the hospital. Getting the flu vaccination is one important step you can take to prevent the flu.
Leann Tobin, Senior Director of Community Engagement, MMH 240-7344