Flu Prevention For Our Volunteers

Sar-Elnik Dr. Wesley Walker offers some advice on how best to avoid the flu this winter. Click here to read more! 

In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season can begin as early as October and can last as late as April or May.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months and older obtain a flu vaccination yearly, if possible by the end of October.  Volunteers should get vaccinated at least 2 weeks before travel, since it takes 2 weeks for vaccine immunity to develop.

The flu vaccine can:  reduce the risk of getting the flu illness by about 50% to 60% among the over all population; make the flu illness less severe if one does get it; keep one from spreading the flu to other volunteers.

The flu vaccine cannot prevent:  flu illness caused by a virus not covered by the vaccine including non-flu virus, e.g. rhinovirus (common cold) and respiratory syncytial virus, a common cause of severe respiratory illness.

Before obtaining an influenza immunization, consult with your doctor or your health care provider about the risks of a flu vaccine reaction.

It is expected that most people infected with the influenza virus will recover without needing medical care.  However, if a volunteer has a severe illness or is at a high risk for flu complications, medical care should be obtained.


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