As cold weather hits, the flu season may be ready to strike.
La Crosse County Public Health Nurse Jo Foellmi said as of Friday, the county has one reported flu hospitalization.
“We’ve had some really successful flu shot clinics this year,” Foellmi said. “People are out there and getting immunized for it, so we are hoping that the flu stays away.”
Foellmi says the mist vaccination is back which is popular for children. Flu season typically runs from November through April, so now is the time to get the flu shot.
Foellmi said the flu is not something to take lightly, and it can especially harm children and the elderly.
“The flu is a respiratory illness,” Foellmi said. “When you are coughing, sneezing, achy, when you feel like you have been hit by a semi, that is the flu. You will have a fever, the chills. You will feel really horrible.”
Those who do feel those symptoms are advised to just say home until they can go without pain or fever-reducing medicine for a full 24 hours.
“Really, stay home,” Foellmi said. “You are protecting your friends and your colleagues. We don’t want to see you when you are sick. If it gets really bad, there are antivirals, you can contact your doctor.”
Researchers are confident in their vaccine match to this year’s flu virus strain. Because the United States shares opposite seasons with Australia, they base the shot on the virus that causes illness overseas. However, there is still a chance the virus will mutate.