ILLINOIS (KFVS) - With Flu season around the corner, Illinois Department of Public Health says getting your annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family.
According to the Southern Seven Health Department, last year’s flu vaccine was not as effective as the shot given in 2016. Melanie Arnold with IDPH says, “The overall effectiveness of the flu vaccine last year was about 40%.”
It all comes to down to picking the right strains for the vaccines, Arnold explains. However, health officials still urge you to get a flu shot.
Rhonda Schmidt, the Director of Nursing at Southern Seven Health Department, explains the severe complications of having the flu.
“The flu can make you very very sick. You will feel like the worst you have ever felt in your whole life. It can lead to pneumonia and ultimately death. And for us working folks... you can miss a lot of work if you get sick with the flu," Schmidt said.
Schmidt says if you’ve had the flu once, you are not protected from it -- you are susceptible and you can get it again.
IDPH says anyone can get the flu, even healthy people.
Flu symptoms can include fever or feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, tiredness, and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults, according to IDPH.
Flu is typically spread by droplets when someone with the flu talks, coughs, or sneezes. People can also get the flu by touching something, like a door handle, that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose.
In addition to getting a flu shot, IDPH recommends following the 3 C's:
-clean (your hands),
-cover (your coughs/sneezes)
-contain (your germs by staying home)
The nasal spray flu vaccine is also a recommended option for influenza vaccination.