IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – The influenza or flu season is officially upon us, and Eastern Idaho Public Health (EIPH) is prepared to vaccinate.
The flu season generally stretches from September through May and varies in severity each year.
Last year was a relatively mild year, and EIPH said it is hard to know what to expect this season.
Health officials recommend everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine each year as it is the first and most important step in protecting against this disease.
Since the health district never wants cost to be a barrier to receiving needed services, EIPH will be providing flu shots, at no cost, to uninsured individuals as well as COVID-19 vaccine, upon request at all its offices.
Influenza is caused by a virus and is a respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever (or feeling feverish/chills), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue/tiredness. The flu is contagious before symptoms start, so practicing good hand washing can help prevent its spread.
In addition to receiving the flu vaccine and hand washing, EIPH recommends the following strategies to prevent getting and spreading the flu: avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; cover your cough and sneezes or cough into your sleeve; stay home when you’re sick; and wear a mask.