Annual Flu Recommendations from the CDC
It's flu season once again, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its annual recommendations for the influenza vaccine. Influenza is a virus, spread by coughing, sneezing and nasal secretions. Most influenza occurs between October and May, with the peak generally occurring in January and February in recent years.
Young children, the elderly, and people with certain health conditions such as heart, lung and kidney disease, or with weakened immune systems, can become very sick with the flu. Symptoms of flu include:
* Chills and fever
* Sore throat
* Muscle aches
* Runny nose or stuffiness
The CDC recommends all people ages 6 months and older get the vaccine, unless there is a medical reason to not be vaccinated.
It takes about two weeks to receive the vaccine's protective benefits, which generally last for about one year. Each year's vaccine is designed to combat the strain or strains that appear to be most likely to occur during flu season.
For more information on flu vaccines, talk with your health care provider or visit the CDC online at www.cd.gov/FLU.