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Now is time to start thinking about flu vaccinations

When will flu activity begin? When will it peak and how long will it last?

These and other questions are on everyone’s mind at this time of year and maybe I can help answer some of these queries.

According to CDC guidelines, “Timing of the flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season.”

Flu activity most commonly peaks in January or February, and begins as early as October and continues until late May.

National Influenza (flu) Week begins Dec. 4 and goes until Dec. 10. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a yearly flu vaccine.

As the virus that causes flu varies from year to year, this unpredictably makes it hard to manufacture a vaccine. So they work with the previous year viruses and try to get a vaccine that will protect you and your family.

The flu vaccine is highly recommended but also other steps are needed as well such as good hand washing through out the day to decrease the spread of germs, cleaning and disinfecting correctly (add 1 tablespoon beach to 1 quart of warm water, clean surfaces, let stand for 3 to 5 minutes then rinse with clean water) stay away from sick people, and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, throwing away tissues in a trash can, do not leave them lying around.

People who are sick with the flu need to stay home from work and/or school to prevent spreading the germ to others. Eat well, get exercise, rest and take care of yourself and your family.

The Ironton City Health Department is planning on starting its campaign against the flu on Monday, Sept. 26, and no appointment is necessary.

Our hours are 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Flu shots will still be $15 and we can bill Medicare and Medicaid.

We would be happy to answer any of your questions about the flu vaccine, call (740) 532-2172 or come see us at the Ironton City Health Department, 2120 S. Eighth St., Ironton.

Laura Brown, RN, is the health commissioner for the Ironton City Health Department.