Health experts advise getting vaccinated sooner than later for flu

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - As flu season gets under way, health experts are advising anyone planning to get a vaccine for Influenza to do it soon.

Jin Lee, pharmacist manager at Fred Meyer, said it can take the body anywhere from 10 to 14 days to build immunity to the flu.

"People come in sick and we see a lot of sick patients in the pharmacy especially during flu season, and by then we have to think about the treatment option instead of prevention and so a flu shot is the great way to prevent those illnesses during flu season," Lee said.

While there are reported cases year-round, Donna Fearey, a nurse epidemiologist said the typical season lasts from October through May.

Fearey said the state tracks cases of Influenza throughout the year and in 2016 to 2017, the season peaked from January through April.

The best way to avoid the flu, Fearey said is to vaccinate.

"For many people it just causes them to feel pretty miserable, they miss some work or some school, but for a significant amount of our population it can cause severe illness, hospitalizations and death," Fearey said. "It's really an infectious disease, so if we can take this opportunity to get folks vaccinated, that creates our first line of defense against Influenza to protect people and to protect those who can't get vaccinated."

Fearey said it's also a good idea to wash your hands frequently, cover coughs, as flu is transmitted through respiratory droplets and stay home if you have a fever, cough, or illness to avoid sharing it with co-workers or fellow students.

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