Welcome to October! It’s an exciting time of the year as we now feel fully immersed in the school year, and are able to enjoy football, fall festivals, and occasional cooler weather.
Unfortunately, the month of October is also the beginning of Flu season. Flu is a very contagious viral infection and is spread by droplets in the air made when people cough, laugh, talk, and sneeze. Here are 4 “must-knows” for the upcoming flu season:
1. What are the Common Flu Symptoms?
A sudden fever(usually above 101°F or 38.3°C)
Chills and body shakes
Headache, body aches, and being a lot more tired than usual
Dry, hacking cough
Stuffy, runny nose
2. How long are you contagious?
You are most contagious 3-4 days after the illness begins
The virus can still be spread 1 day before the onset of symptoms and 5-6 days after becoming sick
3. When is Peak Flu Season?
Flu season is October- May
The highest occurrences generally happen between December-February
4. Who should ABSOLUTELY get the flu vaccine?
Children, including infants born preterm, who are 6 months to 5 years of age,
Children of any age with chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of complications from the flu
Children of American Indian/Alaskan Native heritage
All contacts and care providers of children with high risk conditions and children younger than 5 years (especially newborns and infants younger than 6 months because these young infants are not able to receive their own vaccination)
All health care personnel
All women who are pregnant or are considering pregnancy, have recently delivered, or are breastfeeding during the flu season
By: Kadie Simonds, Family Nurse Practitioner