How Bad Will Flu Season Really Be This Year? [AUDIO]
Now that the kids have gone back to school, the weather will soon be getting cooler and flu season is right around the corner.
For that reason, State Epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan says now is the perfect time to get vaccinated.
"We recommend that anyone who's 6 months and older get the flu shot," says Dr. Tan, "And now is the time to start getting that flu vaccine, since it takes a few weeks for the vaccine to activate. So the earlier that you can get it in the season, the better because that will give much more time for getting protection."
She points out every single year the seasonal flu vaccine will change, and this year's flu vaccine contains an H1N1 virus similar to last year, as well as another influenza, A type virus and the B type virus.
"This year's mixture is a little bit different from last year's, so that's why it is important for people to get a new vaccine every single year," says Dr. Tan, "The one thing we know about flu is that it's unpredictable so it's really hard for us to tell what this year is going to be like."
She also stresses getting a flu shot is very safe.
"We definitely do emphasize with those particular concerns about the vaccines safety issue," says Dr. Tan, "but there isn't any evidence to show there's any connection between flu shots and developmental diseases."
Besides getting a flu shot, she recommends following a good personal hygiene program.
"Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently during flu season, make sure when you're sick, try to stay home, so that you don't potentially infect other individuals, and always try to cover those coughs and sneezes and dispose of your tissues properly."
For more information about the flu you can visit the state's website.