Wichita Falls, TX -
Many Americans are on high alert with the recent spread of the ebola virus and with the winter quickly approaching another contagious virus is knocking at our door.
Newschannel 6 reached out to a local doctor to find all you need to know to be flu free this winter season.
"The thing with the flu, it can be mild or it can be very serious. sometimes people can end up in the hospital because of it," said Dr. B. Shanes, a Medical Director, United Regional Physicians Group.
Dr. Shanes said the flu is prevalent in November through March, but said it could begin as early as October and end as late as May. He recommends people 6 months and older begin to get a flu shot in October. Dr. Shanes said getting the vaccination earlier puts you and your family at better odds of preventing the illness.
"Have to leave yourself a little bit of time it takes about two weeks for your body to build up the immunity once you receive the injection," said Dr. Shanes.
After receiving a vaccination Dr. Shane said you may experience some side effects. he say the most common is tenderness at site of injection. however, he stresses this the shot cannot and will not give you the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said while there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu viruses.
In addition to getting vaccinated, the CDC said other preventive measures are staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with the flu, Dr. Shane advises you stay at home from work or school to prevent spread of the flu to others.
"We advise if you think you have the flu, call your doctor because if you do have the flu and you come in you're the waiting room, there's a high likelihood and spreading it to the folks around you. so we want to try and contain it," said Dr. Shanes.