It's not to late too protect yourself from flu season - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

It's not to late too protect yourself from flu season

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

If you have had the flu, you know the misery that can come with it. The sudden fever, the body aches, the cough and the sore throat that just won't quit. The flu season is back, but it is not too late to protect yourself.

The good news is that the flu season has gotten off to a slow start this year. By late November, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 40 percent of Americans surveyed had gotten vaccinated. And with the holidays coming, millions of us will be gathering and exchanging germs.

Now is the time to think about protecting yourself.

Last year, flu season hit early and hit hard. The CCD estimates about 380,000 Americans got sick enough from the season influenza to end up in the hospital.

This year, as Georgia sees its first cases, already reporting two deaths. Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC says it is too soon to say what to expect.

"We have to be very cautious in saying what kind of flu season we're going to have. The one thing we can do is urge as many people as possible to get vaccinated, because that's in our control," said Dr. Schuchat.

The flu vaccine is available by either a shot or a nasal spray. If you're planning to travel over the holidays, when viruses tend to make the rounds, you want to get vaccinated soon, because you need two weeks to build up immunity.

"We know that in 90% of years, influenza peaks between January and March. So this is really normal now that is flu hasn't taken off yet. But this is the perfect time to get vaccinated," said Dr. Schuchat.

And over the past few years, the CDC has begun recommending everyone six months and older get a vaccinated, not just people at higher-risk of complications.

"Influenza virus is very contagious and it is capable to cause large numbers of people to be sick. But there's a range of illness. Some people have fever and muscle aches and can't get out of bed, and other people need to go to the hospital, they develop pneumonia and they can die," said Dr. Schuchat.

Dr. Schuchat says if you get sick and develop severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, see your doctor.

"Particularly young children, and the elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions, developing flu like symptoms, want to be in touch with their physician because they may benefit from antiviral medicines," said Dr. Schuchat.

If you develop severe illness, you want to get to your doctor quickly because those antivirals are most effective if they are given in the first 48 hours.

And remember, you can still catch the flu even with the vaccine, but the CDC says if you do get sick, you are 60 percent less likely to need treatment.

  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • FOX Medical Team

    Website maps disease outbreak around the world

    Website maps disease outbreak around the world

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:51:35 GMT
    It was a scene that had the whole world talking, two Ebola-infected American aid workers arriving at Emory University Hospital, in full protective gear.
    It was a scene that had the whole world talking, two Ebola-infected American aid workers arriving at Emory University Hospital, in full protective gear.
  • Mom-to-be battles aggressive breast cancer during pregnancy

    Mom-to-be battles aggressive breast cancer during pregnancy

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:40:40 GMT
    The FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin introduces us to a mother who had to undergo chemo while she was pregnant.
    The FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin introduces us to a mother who had to undergo chemo while she was pregnant.
  • Easy fixes for anxiety

    Easy fixes for anxiety

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:14:02 GMT

    The FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin shows us new tactics doctors are trying, to help patients tackle anxiety.

    The FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin shows us new tactics doctors are trying, to help patients tackle anxiety.


Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices