Keep yourself and your family ""flu free"" and healthy in 2011 by getting your flu vaccine. Influenza activity usually peaks in January or February and can last into early spring. If you haven't already, you can still get a flu shot to protect yourself and your family during the height of flu activity and beyond. As long as it's flu season, it's not too late to get vaccinated.
The best way to protect against influenza is to get a flu vaccine every flu season.
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death. Anyone can get the flu, and getting a flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and your family. Even healthy, active children can get very sick from the flu and spread it to friends, loved ones and teammates, especially when a team travels together. Teammates should avoid sharing water bottles, and half-time snacks should be self-contained or individually wrapped. Also, reminding players to wash their hands or to use an alcohol-based hand rub after the post-game handshake can help reduce the spread of flu viruses.
Everyone is at risk for influenza.
Health experts now recommend that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated against influenza every year. Flu viruses can affect people differently, based on their body's ability to fight infection. Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from flu, including:
· Pregnant women
· Children younger than 5, especially those younger than 2 years old
· People with certain health conditions like heart disease, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes (both type 1 and 2) and certain other health conditions
· People 65 years and older
You and your family can still benefit from the vaccine.
Flu vaccines are offered in many doctors' offices and clinics. Even if you don't have a regular health care provider, you can get a flu vaccine at other places like your local health department, a pharmacy, an urgent care clinic, your child's school or your workplace. Visit www.flu.gov
and use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find the nearest location where you and your family can get vaccinated.
For more information about the seriousness of influenza and the benefits of influenza vaccination, talk to your family's doctor or visit www.flu.gov