Doctors recommend getting flu shot now

Colder temperatures usually mean people spending more time inside, and that leads to more opportunities for illnesses to spread.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Colder temperatures usually mean people spending more time inside, and that leads to more opportunities for illnesses to spread.

Michael Hokanson, the Public Information Officer for North Central Health District, says flu can happen any time, but cases rise in the fall and winter.

“There’s not a 100% attribution as to why we see this, but it has been linked to the fall and winter,” he said. “We have holiday gatherings, people are spending more time indoors to avoid the cold, so there’s a lot more opportunity for people to spread illnesses like the flu.”

Dr. Harry Strothers, the Chief of Family Medicine at Atrium Health Navicent, says the flu shot is a great way to protect yourself from the flu and adds that the sooner you get it, the better.

“That helps protect you all season long from the flu,” Dr. Strothers said. “Young people with no medical problems may only see two weeks of upper respiratory problems and sometimes stomach problems.”

Dr. Strothers recommends everyone get a flu shot.

He says there’s a higher dose flu shot for people over 65 because they’re at higher risk for hospitalization. However, that’s not the only group to have a higher risk for hospitalization.

“People with chronic lung disease have a higher risk of being hospitalized,” Dr. Strothers said. “People who have heart disease are at higher risk for being hospitalized.”

Hokanson says it takes a few weeks for the flu shot to take effect, but it isn’t the only way to prevent illness.

“Washing your hands, making sure you’re staying away from people that are ill,” Hokanson said. “If you are ill, make sure you’re sneezing and coughing correctly into your elbow.”

Pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and the North Central Health District offer flu shots. Atrium Health Navicent and the North Central Health District offer appointments for flu vaccines. You can also go to vaccines.gov to find a list of locations that offer the flu shot.

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