With flu season here, healthcare practitioners are reminding people of the importance of getting a flu shot.
Prevea Health reports it hasn’t seen any flu cases at its health centers across Northeast Wisconsin so far this flu season.
“A lot of people think the stomach bug, what we call gastroenteritis here, is the flu,” says Dana Carroll, a nurse practitioner at Prevea Urgent Care in downtown Green Bay. “That’s vomiting and diarrhea, and they are two totally different things. When we hear the flu, the one we’re talking about is the cough, sore throat, body aches.”
But Carroll says the peak of flu season is coming, and the best way to prepare is by getting a flu shot.
“We have a huge flare between November and February usually,” she says. “The numbers are high, people are hospitalized. There are deaths that occur. You need to get your flu shot. That’s the best way to prevent this from happening.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say everyone should get a flu shot unless they’re 6 months old or younger, or if they have an allergy to the flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine.
“By the majority of the population getting flu shots, it helps protect those people who can’t,” she says. “Even with a flu shot, you can still get the flu, but it makes it less severe, less likely to be hospitalized…”
Carroll also says to staying at home if you’re not feeling well is the best way to prevent disease from spreading.
To find a flu vaccine clinic near you, visit here.