A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against the serious disease. Centegra Health System is helping keep the community safe by providing $25 flu shots at many locations throughout McHenry County.”Every flu season has the potential to cause serious illness, numerous doctor’s visits and hospitalization,” said Dr. Marietta Abraham, medical director for Centegra Immediate Care-Huntley. “Get vaccinated now so you will be protected when flu season begins. In the United States, influenza season usually begins in October and can last until May.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone six months of age and older should get a yearly flu vaccine. Ample supplies of influenza vaccine are now available. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for a body to develop an immune response.Centegra Physician Care and Centegra Immediate Care Centers are now offering seasonal flu shots for $25 each. Locations are in Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Huntley, McHenry, Spring Grove and Woodstock. For more information about Centegra Immediate Care or to learn more about this year’s flu vaccine, call 815-338-6600.What causes influenza?The influenza virus is generally passed from person to person by airborne transmission such as sneezing or coughing but the virus can also live for a short time on objects such as doorknobs, pens, pencils, keyboards, telephone receivers, and eating or drinking utensils. Therefore, touching something that has been handled by someone infected with the virus and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes may also spread it.What are the symptoms of the flu?The following are the most common symptoms of the flu. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Influenza is called a respiratory disease but the whole body seems to suffer when a person is infected. People usually become acutely ill with several, or all, of the following symptoms:
- high fever
- sneezing (at times)
- cough, often becoming severe
- severe aches and pains
- fatigue for several weeks
- a sore throat (in some cases)
- extreme exhaustion.
Fever and body aches usually last for three to five days, but cough and fatigue may last for two weeks or more. Although nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may accompany the flu, these gastrointestinal symptoms are rarely prominent. The symptoms of the flu may resemble other medical conditions. Always consult a physician for an accurate diagnosis.How to prevent the fluThe 2011-2012 vaccine will protect against an influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that emerged in 2009 to cause a pandemic. Centegra Health System has an adequate supply of the vaccine now ready to distribute. It is usually recommended for specific groups of people, as well as for persons who want to avoid having the flu. Following these precautions may also be helpful:
- When possible, avoid or limit contact with infected persons.
- Frequent hand washing may reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of infection.
- A person who is coughing or sneezing should cover his/her nose and mouth with a disposable tissue to limit spread of the virus.
Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Physician Care Centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more. As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community. For more information on Centegra Health System visit Centegra Health System on Facebook and Twitter or call 877-CENTEGRA (877-236-8347).