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Ontario County Public Health: Get your flu shot before Halloween

  • / Updated:
  • Concetta Durso 

Ontario County Public Health encourages the public to get their flu shot as soon as possible, preferably before Halloween. Influenza is currently circulating in Ontario County. Flu vaccine can take up to two weeks to provide maximum immunity. 

To predict influenza activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looks to the Southern Hemisphere. Australia is currently experiencing its most severe flu season in five years—an indicator that the United States may face a similar surge of flu cases amid continued Covid-19 spread.Flu trends and a decline in masking may predict Americans getting sick with both influenza and COVID-19. 

The best protection against flu and its complications is vaccination. The 2022-2023 flu vaccine includes protection from two types of flu A and one or two types of flu B, depending on the vaccine. Unvaccinated individuals are urged to seek out flu vaccine from their healthcare provider, local pharmacy, or Ontario County Public Health at this time.

Symptoms of the flu usually occur suddenly and may include headache, fever, chills, body and muscle aches, severe fatigue, congestion, and cough. Antiviral medications may shorten the length of illness and severity of symptoms.  Residents with illnesses compatible with influenza should contact their healthcare providers when symptoms first begin.  

CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Get vaccinated against the flu now. For those over 65 years old, talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist about the high dose influenza vaccine COVID-19 bivalent booster doses can be given same time as the flu shot. Additional strategies to prevent the flu include frequent hand washing or when not available, alcohol-based hand gels, avoiding contact with sick people, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when ill.