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Houston County Public Health reminds residents about the importance of fighting the flu.

Influenza activity remains widespread in Minnesota and across the United States. Flu is a respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus and spreads easily.

When someone around you that is infected with the flu coughs or sneezes, you can inhale the virus that attacks the lungs, nose and throat and infects your cells.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, dry cough, sore throat, headache, extreme tiredness and body aches.

These symptoms usually begin suddenly and might be severe enough to stop your daily activities. Symptoms are usually mild or moderate, not requiring hospitalization. However, at times flu can be severe and result in serious health problems such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, hospitalization and death.

Flu fact: Flu is not the same thing as “stomach flu.”

Flu fact: The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. Some people get a mild fever or have discomfort for a short time after being vaccinated, but this is a sign that your body is responding to the vaccine. It is not the flu. Since there are many viruses circulating during the season, it is possible to get sick with a different virus around the same time you receive the flu vaccine. It is important to remember that getting your flu vaccine not only helps protect you and but also the people around you from getting sick. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get flu vaccine every year. Getting a flu vaccine helps protect you from getting the flu and prevents you from passing it to people who could get very sick.

Flu fact: Flu season can last through April. That means we have a lot of flu season left, and there’s still a lot of flu activity in Minnesota. You can still get your flu vaccine to protect yourself and the people around you. Houston County Public Health has both the traditional dose and high dose for persons 65 and older available. Please contact your healthcare provider or Houston County Public Health 507-725-5810 for more information or to make an appointment. You can find additional information related to the flu on the state health website.

The only thing predictable about flu is that it’s unpredictable. Don’t be caught off guard. Get your flu vaccine now to protect you and your family throughout flu season.

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