Influenza is caused by a virus. It is contagious and easily spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Some symptoms include fever, chills, runny nose, cough, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, or upset stomach. Influenza can lead to complications including worsening of existing medical conditions, pneumonia, hospitalization, and death.
Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent spread of influenza. When you get vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself, but also protecting your community.
Disease can spread quickly through a community and make a lot of people sick. If enough people are vaccinated, germs do not travel as easily from person to person and the entire community is less likely to get the disease.
The North Dakota Department of Health collects data on influenza cases and deaths. For the 2018-2019 season, the data collection started on August 1, 2018 and was last updated on October 4, 2018. According to it, there have been 14 cases of influenza (11 females and three males). One out of those 14 cases has been hospitalized. The ages for these patients range from <10 years old to >60 years old. Numbers are likely underrepresented. Young children, older adults, pregnant females, and patients with weakened immune systems are at higher risk.
The flu vaccine does not contain a live virus, so you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Influenza vaccine can keep you from getting the flu, make flu less severe if you do get it, and keep it from spreading the flu to your family, friends, and other people in the community. Anyone 6 months and older can receive influenza vaccination.
We are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Trinity Community Clinic-Western Dakota, 1321 West Dakota Parkway, Williston. Come in and get your flu shot!
Parul Tangri, MD
Trinity Community Clinic – Western Dakota