Flu Season 2018 – 2019: What You Should Know

McLaren Bay Region is busy gearing up for the 2018 influenza season and is taking measures to help protect the community from the spread of flu.

Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the flu, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone six months and older. The vaccine itself cannot cause influenza, as the injected vaccine only contains inactivated viruses that are unable to produce illness. Flu vaccines work by preparing the body's defenses before the person is exposed to the virus.

To help stop the spread of influenza, community members are encouraged to receive the vaccine from their primary care provider or local pharmacy. Vaccinations are covered by most insurances.

“The vaccination takes about two weeks to develop antibodies that protect against the flu, so it is recommended that people get vaccinated before flu season begins,” said Katie Roberts, Infection Preventionist at McLaren Bay Region. “This is why McLaren Bay Region starts employee vaccinations in early October.”

Vaccination clinics for McLaren Bay Region employees and healthcare providers will be held throughout the month of October. McLaren Bay Region is proud to report than in 2017, 99.8% of their employees received the flu vaccine.

“People who are most at risk for developing flu complications are young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems,” said Roberts. “The majority of people who are admitted to McLaren Bay Region fit into one of these categories, so having 99.8% of our employees vaccinated is a huge step to help protect our patients and stop the spread of flu to those who are most at risk.”

To learn more about the upcoming flu season, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.