Two influenza A strains (H3N2 and H1N1) along with influenza B have been identified this season, according to the CDC. To date, the H1N1 strain has been the predominant virus.
Due to these recent reports, McHenry County Department of Health encourages anyone 6 months and older to get a flu shot to protect themselves against influenza.
The flu season typically runs through May with flu activity peaking this month and into February. Flu vaccine is readily available at physician offices, clinics, retail pharmacies, grocery stores and other locations throughout McHenry County.
Flu can make anyone, including the healthiest, seriously ill, the MCDH said.
It’s not too late to get vaccinated to protect you and your family against influenza. Consult with your physician if symptoms (which can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue) are worsening.
Even if you don’t develop symptoms yourself, you can still pass the virus on to others like pregnant women, young children, those with chronic health conditions (like asthma, diabetes, heart disease) and people 65 and older who are especially at risk for complications from the flu.
Once vaccinated, it takes 2 weeks for antibodies to develop to provide protection. Practice the 3 C’s – clean your hands, cover your cough and contain your germs by staying home when sick.
For more flu information, visit http://www.mcdh.info.
Source: McHenry County Department of Health