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Avoid the Flu

An annual flu vaccine in the fall is the best way to reduce your chances of catching the flu and spreading it. Flu season can begin as early as October and last until May in the United States, with peak influenza activity occurring during the winter months. Get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available in early fall. Since it can take up to two weeks for your immune system to fully develop the protective antibodies, it’s important to receive the flu vaccine before any chances of exposure.

Who needs to be vaccinated?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just about everyone, starting at 6 months of age. Some people may be at higher risk, not just from the flu, but from complications such as respiratory infections, pneumonia and worsening of chronic heart disease. You are at high risk if you:

  • Are over age 65
  • Have a compromised immune system
  • Have chronic heart and lung disease
  • Have diabetes
  • Are pregnant

There are different flu vaccine formulations available, including a higher dose vaccine that is more effective for people over 65 years of age. Talk with your primary care physician about which vaccine is best for you. For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/flu.

Protect Yourself Against the Flu

Flu season is just around the corner. Rohit Modak, MD, FIDSA offers advice about how to keep you and your family healthy. Dr. Modak is Chief of Infectious Diseases at Virginia Hospital Center and is a member of the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group. Read more

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