In case you haven’t heard, we’re in the middle of flu season (it runs October – May each year). According to the State Health Department, the flu is widespread in our state and probably hasn’t peaked yet for the season.

The best way to protect yourself from getting the flu is to get the flu shot. Even if you still get the flu, your symptoms will be less and they won’t last as long as they would without it. You also need to remember what your mother taught you:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands often with warm, soapy water.
  • And stay home from work or school if you’re sick so you don’t spread the virus.
Mecklenburg County police officers get their flu shot.
Mecklenburg County police officers get their flu shots at our health department (before they merged with the Charlotte police to form the CMPD).

At least that’s what my mom always told me when it came to being sick and I’d say it’s doubly true during flu season.

Remember, the flu can present the same symptoms as a cold but usually your fever will be higher and you’ll likely feel achier and fatigued. If you think you have the flu, it’s best to go to the doctor and get tested. If you have a regular physician they might even prescribe antiviral drugs like Tamiflu over the phone after hearing your symptoms.

If you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, it’s not too late. Public Health offers flu shots as well as most pharmacies and minute clinics. You can even find the closet flu shot to you here.