It's Not Too Late for a Flu Shot

Premier Health Now

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A spike in flu cases is a sign that flu season is kicking into high gear.

Flu cases are on the rise in Ohio for the second week in a row and health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expect flu activity to increase.

If you didn’t get a flu shot this fall, don’t panic.

Premier Health Now talked with Joshua Ordway, MD, Franklin Family Practice, about how you can still protect yourself.

“It takes a couple of weeks for the shot to reach full effect, but the flu season may last to March or April, so definitely get in as soon as you can,” Dr. Ordway says.

The Ohio Department of Health says the flu is widespread across Ohio. It reports 287 flu-related hospitalizations in the first week of January, compared to 157 the week before. And the numbers keep climbing.

“Things are ramping up now and hopefully we’ve hit a peak, but you never know, we could keep climbing,” says Dr. Ordway. “So we just have to hope that people who haven’t been vaccinated get in for their vaccine and keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t get worse.”

The elderly, children under age 5 and people with heart, lung and diabetic conditions are very susceptible to the flu and should be vaccinated. Flu symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue and body aches

Take precautions to stay healthy:

  • Wash hands with soap and water
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid crowded areas
  • Stay home when sick until fever free for 24 hours

The good news is this year’s flu shot appears to be effective, Dr. Ordway says. It may also be advisable to avoid the flu mist vaccine, which may not protect against one of this year’s more prevalent flu strains. As always, it is best to discuss options with your health care provider.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.