Sutter Experts Say Flu Shot Still Best Way to Prevent Influenza
With flu season well underway, physicians in the Sutter Health not-for-profit network say it’s not too late to vaccinate.
While a recent study found that this year’s flu shot doesn’t work as well as expected against this season’s most prevalent influenza virus, experts say the vaccine can still protect against other flu viruses, and reduce hospitalizations and deaths.
Each year 5 to 20 percent of Americans get the flu and more than 200,000 end up in the hospital due to flu-related complications. Flu activity usually peaks between December and February but can continue to occur as late as May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Experts highly recommend flu shots for people 65 years and older and younger children.
The following precautions also help prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory infections:
- While sick, stay home and limit contact with others
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based rub
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Need a flu shot?
- Call your doctor’s office directly
- Find a flu shot clinic near you
- Fine flu resources at sutterhealth.org/flu