Gov. Bruce Rauner, Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah on Wednesday received their annual flu shots and are urging others to get theirs as well.
The flu season typically begins in October and runs through May, with the peak being between December and February.
“A flu shot is quick and easy so you don’t get queasy,” Rauner said. “Influenza can be costly to your health and to your wallet from medical costs. A flu shot will protect you and those around you have a higher risk of severe illness such as the elderly. The best offense is a good defense, and the best defense is getting a flu shot.”
“I urge everyone, especially those in the Latino communities, to get a flu shot,” Sanguinetti said. “For a number of reasons, Latinos are less likely to get vaccinated, but it’s important to keep yourself healthy and those around you healthy.”
Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone six months and older. Because of concerns about how well the nasal spray vaccine has worked during the previous flu seasons, the Centers for Disease Control is temporarily recommending people stick to getting a flu shot and skip the nasal spray.
“The single most effective way to prevent getting the flu is an annual flu shot,” Shah said. “The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and can even result in hospitalizations or death. Even healthy people get the flu, so it’s important for everyone to be vaccinated.”
Influenza is spread mainly when people with the flu cough or sneeze. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and tiredness. People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease, and people 65 years and older.
Last year, the flu season started and peaked later than usual. It’s not possible to predict what this flu season will be like. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another.
To find a location to get a flu shot in your community, check with your local health department or log onto the IDPH website to use the Flu Vaccine Finder.