Fighting the flu
Flu, Seasonal Tips

The Importance of the Flu Vaccine

Now is the time to protect yourself against influenza. Bayhealth would like to remind the community of the importance of taking safeguards to protect yourself from contracting the flu.

A flu season typically begins in October and ends in May with a normal peak season of February. Even though we’re midway through flu season, Bayhealth Occupational Health Medical Director Parvathi Somasundaram, MD, says it’s still just as important to get the flu shot if you haven’t already done so. “The flu shot is the single best way to prevent the flu because it truly saves lives,” Dr. Somasundaram said.

When it comes to the flu, there are four types of viruses – A, B, C, and D – with Influenza A and B the cause of seasonal epidemics in the winter. Within Influenza A and B, there are different strands of the flu. This year, the most reported cases in Kent and Sussex County cases are Influenza A, no subtype and Influenza B, no lineage.

The flu virus spreads from person to person through droplets from when someone coughs, sneezes or talks. Being a highly contagious virus, a person can spread the flu from day one before symptoms develop and up to a week after becoming sick. “Our emergency department’s have seen a large number of patients come in with the flu, and we’re doing everything we can to help patients. There are things community members can do at home to prevent the flu,” Dr. Somasundaram said.

Tips to prevent the flu:
• Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
• If you’re sick, stay home.
• Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
• Wash your hands frequently and consistently with soap and water.
• Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Practice other good health habits including disinfecting surfaces, getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, and managing your stress.

To get your flu shot, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Visit to find a clinician today.

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