BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) – It’s flu season which means it’s flu vaccine season and health officials are urging everyone to take precautions.
So far in Massachusetts there has been 80 or so lab confirmed cases of the flu ---that’s about average for this time of the year but it signifies that the flu season is upon us according to Commonwealth officials.
“We are already starting to see cases of flu as we do every year around this time,” said Dr. Larry Madoff, with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
“As the weather gets colder and the flu season begins. Now the flu season won’t really hit peak until December – January probably,” he said.
With flu around it’s time to think about taking the flu vaccine so when should you get on?
Madoff says people should get vaccinated at the earliest.
“It’s a good idea to get vaccinated whenever you think of it because the flu vaccine does hit its peak effectiveness a few weeks after you get it, but the effectiveness persists for weeks,” he said.
And as we get deeper into the flu season Madoff says while trying not to get sick.
“it's a good idea to stay away from people who are sick with the flu. The flu spreads by droplets, by people who cough or sneeze or even talk when they have the flu. So the other side of the coin is that if you have the flu, you should stay home and not try to go to work or to school or be around other people but stay home and not spread the flu to others.” He said.
Although getting the flu vaccine doesn't guarantee you won't get sick it can limit the severity if you do.
“No vaccine is one hundred percent effective and the flu vaccines effectiveness varies every year depending on the strains that are included in it,” said Madoff. “Now the flu vaccine has just been updated this year. It's a new vaccine compared to last year it has new strains in it that we expect it will be a good match for the strains that are circulating this year.”
If you want more information about influenza you can visit the States website Mass.gov/flu
WBZ NewsRadio1030’s Ben Parker (@radiobenparker) reports.