Influenza and Flu in New Paltz and Highland

Influenza Season Hit Early This Year, but it is Not Too Late to be Vaccinated.

There are plenty of reasons to look forward to the winter. Who doesn’t love the prospect of hot cocoa on a cool night and the anticipation of the first snow of the season? However, the cooler weather of Fall and early winter also bring a few less pleasant things back around, including, of course, influenza.

Last year’s influenza season was particularly difficult because the early vaccinations targeted a strain of influenza that didn’t end up being as prominent, so even people who received their flu shots were still vulnerable to the more prominent strain of influenza.

This year, the flu shots will be reconfigured in hopes of better matching the virus that got an early start this year. The first cases of influenza were being reported in early September. However, it’s still not too late to get your flu shot. It takes about two weeks for a full immunity to form, but immunity starts building as soon as a flu shot is administered, so it is definitely a case of better late than never.

If you’re not a fan of traditional flu shots, you might not know that there are many varieties of the flu shot that you can choose from. According to the Sun Times article, “Influenza Season Has Arrived, Get Your Vaccinations,”

“Individuals seeking vaccine have many options beyond the typical shot including a high dose flu shot approved for people 65 and older, a “short needle” intradermal flu shot approved for people 18 through 64 years of age, and nasal-spray vaccine. Depending on brand, these vaccines protect against three or four influenza strains.”

If you think you may be suffering from the flu, early detection is really important. Tamiflu can help shorten the length and severity of the flu if it is taken within the first 48 hours of the first flu symptoms, however it is not considered a highly effective medication for most people. Keep in mind that the flu is a respiratory illness featuring coughing, sneezing, congestion and aches and pains. The flu is not a digestive illness, even though stomach issues like vomiting and diarrhea are mistakenly referred to as “the flu”.

FirstCare offers flu shots on a walk-in basis and treatment and testing for influenza and other illnesses.