With October here, we have entered into respiratory illness season, and it’s important to take precautions now to avoid serious illness. Today’s blog on the upcoming flu season wraps up our series of blogs on the respiratory virus season, RSV, and COVID-19. Below we explain the precautions you can take now, how to find vaccines, and other vital information to help keep your families healthy this season.
November – just three weeks away – marks the beginning of a season many of us look forward to during the year including the holidays and cooler weather. But November also brings with it the start of something most of us would rather not experience: Influenza season.
You can take steps today to protect against the flu and its symptoms, which can be severe for some people. The sooner you get this year’s flu vaccine the better. Everyone 6 months and older who has not been vaccinated recently is eligible for a flu shot. The flu vaccine can prevent you from getting sick but more importantly can reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
In recent years, Arizona has seen more than 900 deaths because of the flu, making it the 11th-leading cause of death in our state. Last year, there were about 7,900 cases between Oct. 1 and the first week of December.
Fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue are among the most-common flu symptoms. Those most at risk for severe disease include pregnant women, those 65-years-old and older, and children 5-years-old and younger. Also, at higher risk are people with certain long-term medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
In addition to getting a vaccine for the flu, RSV, and COVID-19, it’s also important to take these familiar steps to protect yourself against the spread of these viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve, and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay at home if you are sick.
Protect yourself and your family this season with the vaccine and get more info about flu in Arizona including prevention information and data on our website. This influenza season is fast approaching, so it’s important to take precautions now to be protected.