Flu season is approaching. Every year, the CDC monitors flu activity worldwide to identify the mostly likely strains to hit the United States. Once they do, the vaccine manufacturers go into action. This year the vaccine is available earlier than ever. There is even some debate about possibly giving the shots too early in the season, since it peaks around December. But putting it off and forgetting to do it is worse.
Signs and symptoms: Fever, chills, cough, and congestion are common. Joint and muscle aches are typical. Symptoms last about a week. The very young and the elderly are susceptible to pneumonia, a potentially fatal complication.
What to do: If you’ve already received the vaccination, take heart. The protection still helps. If not, the CDC recommends getting it now, so it is not forgotten. There is a high-dose version available especially for seniors. The intra- nasal vaccine is no longer recommended because of poor performance last year.
Thought for the day: If you’re not vaccinated, get on the ball. Better to be early than not at all.
What’s Going Around is contributed by family practice doctor Kyle Scarborough, M.D. You can reach him at email@example.com.