Influenza is a unique illness because year after year it affects tons of people around the nation, yet there’s still a lot of misinformation spread about the illness. Knowing what the flu risks are this time of year is the key to avoiding the illness, but is the information you have really accurate? Let’s take a look at what the flu risks are and how bacteria play a role in the wintertime.
Does Cold Weather Cause the Flu?
Probably the biggest misconception surrounding the flu and flu season is that cold weather causes the flu. Flu season begins in the fall and goes as late as early spring, but the dropping temperatures isn’t the cause of the illness. The bacteria that causes the flu flourishes in cool, dry conditions, sow inter allows it to spread more easily, but isn’t the actual cause. The flu occurs when bacteria is spread from one person to another through direct contact, airborne contact, or contact with a bacterium covered surface.
Can You get A Flu Shot in Late Winter?
Flu shots are offered and advertised the most at the beginning of flu season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get vaccinated in late winter. In fact, if you got vaccinated in the fall, you might need a second flu shot to ensure you’re still protected! You can find the flu shot at any urgent care or walk-in clinic. The flu shot is over 80% effective at preventing the flu. If you’ve gone through most of the winter unprotected from the flu, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get protected now!
Wintertime Flu Risks
Since cold weather doesn’t cause the flu, you’re probably wondering why flu season just so happens to occur during colder temperatures. In addition to the bacteria preferring colder temperatures, wintertime offers more ability for the bacteria to spread. People spend more time indoors during the winter, meaning there’s more contact with other people and shared surfaces. One person carrying the flu could enter a crowded space and infect multiple people all at once. In the summer, people spend less time in confined spaces with other people, so the risk of an illness spreading naturally decreases.
If you’re in need of a late winter flu shot, a second flu shot, or flu treatment, visit a nearby urgent care center today! You’ll be able to receive same day treatment in a convenient location. Each day you remain unvaccinated is another day you might catch the flu!