The flu is nothing to sneeze at!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses annually since 2010. The best way to stay out of such statistics, the CDC says, is for everyone who is eligible and at least 6 months old to get a flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available.

“Surprising to many, it can actually take up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to build immunity,” explained Angela Patterson, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer at MinuteClinic. “Because of this, CVS Pharmacy recommends patients get their flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available to ensure patients are the most protected before flu season peaks. Furthermore, influenza strains tend to change each year, so it’s very important to get vaccinated annually to make sure you are protected.”

Follow these tips to protect yourself and others during flu season:

1. Stay home if you’re sick. Flulike symptoms don’t always stop some people from going to work or out in public in general. A recent survey found:
• 28 percent have gone to the supermarket
• 12 percent have picked up a child from school or day care
• 10 percent have taken public transportation.

2. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based cleansing gel.

3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

4. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

The CDC warns that flu season has begun earlier than ever this year. Wesley Woods of Newnan urges everyone in the community to get the flu shot as soon as possible. We care about your health and well-being!

Wesley Woods of Newnan is located at 2280 Hwy. 29 North in Newnan, GA 30265. Visit their website at: wesleywoodsnewnan.org.