Flu Season is Coming – It’s best to get your flu shot early

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At last! We are getting a break from all of that summer heat. That can mean only one thing: It’s almost flu season.

“Flu can be harmful for kids and households. According to the federal Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), between 6,000 and 26,000 children younger than 5 are sent to the hospital each year because of the flu. The flu shot is safe and helps protect kids and adults from influenza.”

– Health Plan of San Joaquin’s Patricia Sabella, RN, BS, MPA, Director of Utilization Management (UM), Case Management (CM), and Disease Management (DM).  

The flu is not the same as a cold, and comes on quickly. Even healthy kids and adults can get really sick from the flu. They can then spread it to family and friends. During flu season, Health Plan of San Joaquin (HPSJ) is especially concerned for pregnant women, seniors, and persons with chronic illnesses, as well as children.

Signs of flu are:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Feeling tired
  • Puking and diarrhea are more common in children than adults

A flu shot is important for people of all ages.

It is vital for kids 6 months and older, pregnant women, and all with life-long health problems like asthma, heart disease, or high blood sugar. They have a higher chance of getting serious complications from flu, like pneumonia, which can lead to hospital stays.

CDC estimates that thanks to flu shots, during the 2017-2018 season: 7 million flu cases were stopped, 109,000 flu health care visits were warded off, and 8,000 flu deaths were held back.

Tips for flu season—

  • Try to stay clear of being in the same area with sick people.
  • If you are sick, try to stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue away. No tissue? Use the crook of your arm when you sneeze.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Wash your hands. Often!
  • No soap and water? Use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.

It’s best to get your flu shot by the end of October each year to be ready for flu season. Call your doctor’s office today, to set up a visit to get your flu shot.

Find out more –

Not sure who your doctor is? If you are one of Health Plan of San Joaquin’s almost 350,000 members, make the toll-free call to HPSJ’s Customer Service team at 888.936.7526(PLAN); TTY/TDD 711.

HPSJ members can connect with HPSJ’s 24/7 HealthReach nurse and doctor advice line, at 800.655.8294, or https://www.hpsj.com/advice-nurse-line/.

Everyone is invited to visit www.HPSJ.com for more facts on flu resources, including the Audio Library at https://www.hpsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Audio-Health-Library-Topics-English-Spanish-HPSJ-032817.pdf.

For more, go to: www.cdc.gov/flu (English) and https://espanol.cdc.gov/enes/flu (Spanish)

© Health Plan of San Joaquin, September 2019, permission to reprint in full with attribution.  

Posted on September 6th, 2019 and last modified on September 6th, 2019.

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