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There may not be a COVID-19 vaccine this fall, but there will be a flu vaccine. Plan on getting your flu shot early to protect yourself against this serious respiratory illness.

What you need to know about the flu.

The flu is more than a bad cold. For several days, people can suffer with fever, cough, sore throat and body aches. Each year, influenza causes thousands of deaths and hospitalizations. People with long-term health conditions are especially at risk. The best way to prevent flu is to get a flu vaccine.

Good health practices help stop flu.

  • Wash your hands frequently or used hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.

2019 Flu Facts Infographic with information about the flu in Pierce County during the 2018-2019 flu season and how to stay healthy. 

Flu signs and symptoms

  • Fever over 100.4°F or feeling feverish/chills.
  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • Headaches.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (sometimes).

Flu treatment

You can treat the flu with medicine if you get to the doctor early. The medications work best when you begin treatment within 48 hours of flu onset. Treatment can ease symptoms and reduce the risk of complications and death.

Ask your doctor for treatment options for anyone who is two weeks old or older.

Prevention

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine. Everyone six months and older needs a flu vaccine each year. You can get a flu vaccine at your doctor's office or local pharmacy. To find a flu vaccine provider near you, visit the HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

When to get vaccinated

You can get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available in the late summer or early fall. It is best to get vaccine before flu starts circulating. It is not too late to get a flu vaccine later in the season.

If a household member has the flu, medications are available to prevent you from getting sick.