A Look at The 2018 Flu Season

Prepare for the 2018 flu season by protecting yourself and your family from flu risks and using the following tips from your primary care clinic in Arkansas.

Influenza viruses typically infect the respiratory system (nose, throat, and lungs), leading to coughing, sore throat, and congestion. The immune system’s response often also triggers fever, and causes various body aches. Most people recover in a range from a few days to under two weeks, but some can become more seriously ill. Here is some important information about 2018 flu shots in Arkansas and how to manage risk for your family during flu season.

How can I protect myself from the flu this year?

The CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months or older receive a flu vaccination, especially people at high risk for flu complications and people in close contact with those at high-risk.
Get a flu vaccination and stay away from people who have the flu. It is also important to wash your hands as needed to minimize the spread of germs.

Which flu vaccines are recommended for this season?

During the 2018-2019 flu season, vaccination options include:

  • Standard dosage flu shots, injected into the muscle (typically by needle, though a couple can be given by jet injector).
  • Higher-dosage vaccinations for elderly people.
  • For elderly people, shots made with adjuvant (an ingredient added to promote a stronger immune response to the vaccine).
  • Recombinant vaccine, which does not necessitate use of flu virus in its formulation.
  • LAIV nasal spray vaccine, as appropriate for individuals.

When should I get a flu shot?

Get vaccinated in the early fall before flu season begins. The CDC recommends having a flu vaccination before the end of October though vaccination later in the season can still be effective, even in January or later.

Some children ages 6 months through 8 years old need two flu vaccinations. Vaccinations should be given earlier in the season for these children, as they must be administered four weeks apart.

How can I protect children who are too young for flu vaccination?

Children under 6 months old are too young for a flu vaccine, but are at high risk for flu complications. If you are around a baby under age 6 months, you need to have a flu vaccine yourself to help protect them from contracting the virus.

Stay away from people with flu, and wash your hands frequently to reduce germs. Additionally, having a flu vaccination during pregnancy has been shown to protect infants from flu for several months.

How long does the flu vaccine protect me from flu?

Immunity to flu viruses’ declines over time, depending upon individuals’ ability to generate sufficient amounts of antibodies after vaccination. Getting a yearly flu vaccination offers the best protection.

If I get sick with the flu, what should I do?

If you experience flu symptoms, stay home from school and work to prevent spreading the disease to other people. If you have flu symptoms and are at high risk for flu complications or are concerned about the severity of your illness, contact your doctor. In some cases, antivirals are prescribed, which can help alleviate flu symptoms faster and possibly prevent complications.

Where is there a primary care clinic near me in Arkansas?

ARcare provides flu shots and high quality general family medical care in Arkansas. We accept patients regardless of ability to pay. ARcare patients have life-long healthcare and access to our huge network of specialists, whenever needed. Contact ARcare by calling (877) 876-8032 to schedule an appointment for family medical care in Arkansas.

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