Timing of flu season varies in different parts of the world and from season to season. Generally, the dates of flu season in the United States run from October to May, with a peak between December and February. In the southern hemisphere, the flu season runs from May until September.
Seasonal Influenza Loves the Cold
Flu season generally spans the colder months because cold conditions are optimized for flu virus survival and transmission. Flu viruses are more stable and remain airborne longer in cold and dry conditions, making it easier to spread. This explains why there are few cases of flu and no flu season in tropical climates.
The Flu Vaccine is the Best Prevention
Because the most prevalent flu virus can change each year, vaccine manufacturers use World Health Organization recommendations to create the vaccine that is likely to be most effective against that year’s flu virus. Doctors recommend everyone six months and older get the flu vaccine for the best protection against the flu.
The best time to get the flu vaccine is before flu season, because the vaccine takes one to two weeks to become effective. The vaccine is usually available in September through mid-November. Those who have an increased risk of complications from the flu are encouraged to get their vaccine sooner to make sure they are vaccinated before the supply runs out.
People with elevated risk of flu complications include:
- Children between six months and four years of age
- People 65 and older
- Women who are pregnant, are trying to become pregnant, new mothers, or those who are breastfeeding
- Anyone whose immune system has been compromised
- Residents of long-term care facilities
- Anyone with chronic medical conditions
- Children or teens who take aspirin regularly
- Anyone who has regular contact with high-risk populations
- Native Americans and Alaskan Natives
Visit FastMed Before the Flu Season
Don’t have time to make an appointment to get your flu vaccine? The providers at FastMed Urgent Care typically have supplies of the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available. You can walk right in, and our medical professionals with give you and your family the vaccine.
We offer extended weekday hours and have locations open 365 days a year. Whether you want to get vaccinated against the flu or need relief from flu symptoms, FastMed is here to help when and where you need it.
Don’t wait for the flu season dates to roll around! Contact us today and find out why patients like Gayle C. are so satisfied with our service:
“The urgent care center was terrific! The staff delivered exactly what I needed: professional care and personal attention – and they delivered it with care and kindness. Urgent Care is on my radar as an integral part of my community and I have given several enthusiastic recommendations to friends and work associates. Thank you!”
Kids Health: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/late-flu-shot.html