Influenza, or “the flu” is a respiratory virus that typically affects North America as early as October and lasts through May. The flu can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. Severe cases of influenza lead to hospitalization and death.

The elderly, the young and people who are immunocompromised, or have health conditions like asthma; COPD; cancer; and heart disease are at an especially high risk for complications of Influenza.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

The flu virus is constantly changing therefore each year the vaccine is designed to correlate with the dominant influenza strain predicted by the CDC, however, it is not unusual for a new strain to appear.

The peak of influenza season is December through February. The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccination for everyone over six months of age. The CDC also recommends that people get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is released, preferably before October.

Please call the Telluride Regional Medical Center to set up an appointment for your flu shot today!

Here are some other ways to protect you and your family:

The influenza virus is believed to spread by respiratory droplets from an infected person created when they cough, sneeze or speak. These droplets can spread up to six feet away.

Most healthy adults infect others one day before symptoms develop and 5-7 days after becoming sick. That means we can spread the virus even before we know we are sick.

CDC recommends six good health habits that can help stop the spread:

1.     Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

2.     If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick.

3.     Cover your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing.

4.     Wash your hands frequently.

5.     Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

6.     Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods.