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South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)

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2011 Flu Shots

Flu shot
Friday, September 16, 2011

It's that time of year again - time to get vaccinated to help prevent the flu.

For the 2011-2012 flu season, the vaccination will protect against three different flu viruses. These viruses include: influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B.

The CDC says that flu viruses are constantly changing, so it's not unusual for new flu virus strains to appear each year. The timing of flu is unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February, however, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.

It is recommended that you get vaccinated as soon as it is available. This vaccine willl last through the entire flu season.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Not sure if you have the flu? Here are the symptoms:

  • Fever (usually high)
  • Headache
  • Tiredness (can be extreme)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children than adults)

Having these symptoms does not always mean you have the flue. Many different illnesses, including the common cold, can have similar symptoms. If you develop flu-like symptoms and are concerned about your illness, especially if you are at high risk for complications of the flu, you should consult your health care provider. Those at high risk for complications include people 65 years or older, people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.

Here are some things you can do to help stop the spread of flu:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue cough/sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after use.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities.
  • While sick, limit your contact with other people, as much as possible, to keep from infecting them.

The South Texas Veterans Health Care System is currently giving flu vaccines at all our facilities. You can walk in and receive the vaccine Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

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