Don’t Let the Flu Get you Down!

by | Sep 24, 2019 | Medical

 It’s never fun to be sick, but the flu is more serious than the common cold. It can be dangerous—especially for older people, children under 4, and pregnant women.
The timing of flu season is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. “It can take up to two weeks for the body to develop immunity, so it’s important to vaccinate as early in the season as possible,” says Christian Raigosa, MD, Physician-in-Charge and Family Medicine Physician at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clarita Medical Offices. “While children, pregnant women and the elderly are more at risk for complications from the flu, it can be just as serious for healthy young adults.”
Millions of people get the flu every year. Many of them get so sick they end up in the hospital. Protect yourself and the people you care about with these simple tips.
Understand the difference between the flu and a cold
Influenza (short for “flu”) and the common cold are not the same. Both are upper respiratory infections, but flu symptoms tend to come on stronger and last longer. The flu is a virus that causes fever, headaches, and sore throats — and it can lead to serious infections, pneumonia, or worse. The flu generally infects people from late fall through early spring, while colds can occur throughout the year.
Get your flu shot
It’s your best defense. The vaccination can’t give you the flu—but it can help protect you against this year’s most common strains and prevent spreading the flu to others. Flu viruses change each year, and so does the vaccine. Reduce your risk by getting your flu shot every year.
Boost immunity with healthy habits
Simple things that support overall health can also help you fight the flu. Wash your hands often and keep hand sanitizer handy. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat lots of fruits and veggies, and drink plenty of water.
Ready to win your fight against the flu?
Annual flu shots lower risk of catching the flu, developing flu-related complications, visits to doctors, and missed school or workdays due to illness.
“Keep germs from spreading this flu season by washing your hands often, sneezing or coughing into your elbow, don’t touch your face, and most importantly, if you are sick, stay at home,” says Dr. Raigosa.
Vaccines are available to all Kaiser Permanente members 6 months and older at no-cost. To increase access to the vaccine, members in the Santa Clarita Valley can go to any of our Santa Clarita or Canyon Country locations (including medical offices and pharmacies) to receive their vaccination at no-cost, with no need for an appointment.
To find up-to-date flu shot locations near you, visit kp.org/flu.

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