Flu season is closer than you think

Posted at 5:37 PM, Sep 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 19:37:32-04

With fall comes our flu season. The Department of Health and Welfare is saying now is the time to protect yourself, suggesting using this time before the flu hits in full force to get your flu shot sooner rather than later. 

"Flu certainly can circulate year round so it may be circulating at low levels throughout the state," said influenza surveillance coordinator for Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Randi Pedersen. 

Vaccinations are already available at local pharmacies and there are strands available without certain preservatives which can be dangerous for those with allergies. 

"There are flu shots available now that don't have egg antigens, so there are flu shots for people that have had egg allergies," said pharmacist Matthew Murray. 

And just a few short seconds of discomfort can keep you healthy in the long run. 

Back this year is the flu mist vaccination. It was previously unavailable because the department of health and welfare reports it was practically ineffective for H1N1 in recent years. 

"The vaccine manufacturer replaced the strain of the H1N1 that they were using to make the vaccine, so they think it will be more effective now," said Pedersen. 

The flu shot is recommended over the mist, but the option is available for people ages 2 to 50. 

"For those that are afraid of the shot or have adversity to the shot it's a great option, and it's certainly better than nothing," said Pedersen. 

There have already been reports of the flu, but the health officials aren't sure how many because they don't officially start tracking it until October.