Flu season is here!  Southern Hills is now offering flu vaccinations to our staff and residents.

Flu season typically starts in October each year and peaks between December and February.  No year is a good year to get the flu, but this year is especially bad due to the Covid19 Pandemic. If you can avoid the flu, this will help reduce the burden on our already overwhelmed healthcare systems and prevent the transmission to at-risk populations like children not old enough to receive the vaccine, our precious elderly population, and those with compromised immune systems. The risk to these populations is severe.

You should do everything you can to prevent the flu, including handwashing, hand sanitizing and staying home when you are ill or exhibiting symptoms.  Handwashing and other preventative measures can help stop both COVID 19 and the flu.  Remember, both share many of the same symptoms (fever, chills, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, body aches, headache, and fatigue).  There is a risk this year of having both the flu and COVID 19 at the same time.   Providers will know more on how to treat the illness if they can rule out the flu do having a flu shot.  Keep in mind, it takes 2 weeks after vaccination to achieve full immunity, so social distance and keep away from those with flu like symptoms.

We ask that our residents, staff, families, and friends that may be visiting our centers get their flu shots.  CDC estimates that less than half of the population received their flu shots last year.  There are many fears and myths surrounding the flu shot.

  1. “It will give me the flu.” (It won’t).
  2. “It has so many bad side effects.” (Major side effects are very rare).
  3. “It won’t work anyway, they don’t know what type of flu we will have” (While it’s not perfect, it is based on the 4 biggest strains from the previous flu season).
  4. “Don’t need it, the flu isn’t anything serious”. (While some are only ill for a few days and experience minor symptoms, others may have severe illness and even death).
  5. “I will catch COVID while waiting to get my flu shot”. (Communities are offering outdoor clinics, one-on-one appointments and are required to follow proper prevention protocols).

So this flu season, wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer liberally, disinfect surfaces frequently, wear your mask, social distance, stay home when you are ill AND get your flu shot!