It May Feel Like Summer, but Flu Season is Almost Here

DES MOINES, Iowa – Flu season is right around the corner and doctors are suggesting to get the vaccine by the end of September.

The peak time people get the flu is around January and February, but experts can see cases as early as October.

Polk County Health Educator Nola Aigner said the shot is targeting the four most common flu strains. Those include: Two A strains: H1N1 and H3N2, and two B lineages.

“Each year the CDC estimates that 200,000 people will be hospitalized. Of that population, 20,000 of them will be under the age of five. It is incredibly important that we are making sure that everyone gets their flu vaccine so they can stay healthy and enjoy flu season,” Aigner said.

People who cannot get the flu shot are those who are allergic to the components inside the vaccine or are under six months of age.

Aigner said to check with a clinic or pharmacy to see if it carries a flu vaccine that doesn't have certain components you may be allergic to.

“Our little ones, love to touch things. So, if I’m sick and I touch a table and then another one touches the table and touches their eyes, nose and mouth, chances are they are going to get sick with the flu. It’s really important for them to get the flu shot, because they are developing their immune systems and theirs might not be as strong as an adult would be,” Aigner said.

Flu symptoms include: sore throat, headaches, fever, body aches, runny nose, and the chills.

Aigner said to call your family doctor, local pharmacy or the Polk County Health Department to make an appointment.

The Polk County Health Department is giving flu shots for $20 if someone does not have health insurance.

The CDC says it takes about two weeks after the vaccination for the antibiotics to develop and protect against the flu.