Flu season tips to protect yourself, family

Flu season is in full swing, with increasing numbers of cases reported across the country. Influenza — the flu — is a serious, contagious disease that can have severe health consequences, especially for people with chronic lung conditions, such as asthma and COPD. It’s not too late to take precautions to help protect yourself and those around you from the flu.

The particular type of influenza virus that is prevalent this year, H3N2, tends to change rapidly and does so between the time the vaccines are produced earlier in the year and when they are administered during the flu season. This tends to make the flu season more troublesome. Despite that, flu vaccines are still strongly recommended.

There are still several weeks left in this year’s flu season, and even though it may take time to be effective, getting a flu vaccine if you haven’t already is still a smart thing to do.

There are several vaccine options to choose from, such as the nasal spray flu vaccine. However, only injectable flu shots are recommended for use again this season. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year.

Aside from getting vaccinated, other ways to limit getting and spreading the flu are to practice good, frequent hand washing and disinfecting areas that are touched frequently.

Dr. Albert Rizzo M.D.

Member of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic Board of Directors.

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