Each year an average of 200,000 Americans are admitted to the hospital for influenza. It’s something that Covenant Medical Group is working to raise awareness about especially among parents.
“Flu is really unpredictable, we don’t know when the season will start or when it will end,” said Annabelle Jordan a Family Nurse Practitioner for Covenant Medical Group.
But, don’t fall into a false sense of safety. It’s generally accepted that the months from October to March have more cases of influenza than any other time of the year.
The Centers for Disease Control also reports that flu activity peaks in each season between the months of December and March. That’s, why Jordan says your best defense is to get an influenza vaccine.
“It’s really important that’s the first step we can do is give them a vaccination to prevent it,” said Jordan.
But, just because it’s not peak flu season yet doesn’t mean you should put it off.
“It takes about two weeks for your body to develop the immune response to the flu so you want to get it earlier than later,” Jordan said.
That rule applies for everyone. It’s why she recommends anyone 6-months and older get a vaccination even if you’re generally healthy. That’s because you could be a carrier for the flu.
“You get the flu shot to protect your child and protect your family but it can also protect the babies that are too young for the flu shot, the grandparents and the elderly that are more at risk for getting the serious complications,” Jordan explained.
In other words, if you get a shot you’re protecting more than just your own health. You’re also protecting your community’s health.
Jordan also explained that there is no nasal spray vaccine for the 2017-2018 flu season.
“No poke free option but it’s still very important to go and get it,” said Jordan.
A big concern for many adults and children alike are egg protein allergies. Jordan said if you’re only reaction to that protein is a rash, she still recommends getting vaccinated.
However, if you have respiratory distress as a reaction to the protein you should consult your doctor. But, even then Jordan said some may still be able to get vaccinated under their doctor’s supervision.