Following a few easy tips — and the flu shot — can help prevent illness.
CANANDAIGUA — You know the feeling.
Headache, fever, chills, body and muscle aches, severe fatigue, congestion and cough — yep, the flu.
No surprise for this time of year, but Ontario County health officials are reporting that several cases of the flu have been reported — and they anticipate more in the next few weeks.
Both A and B strains of the flu have been detected, but most circulating strains match this season’s flu vaccine, health officials said.
The best protection is a flu shot, and anyone 6 months and older should get one, according to Michelle Vignari, director of infection prevention and disaster preparedness at Thompson Health.
The 2016-17 flu season includes protection from two types of flu A and one of two types of flu B, depending on the strains, according to health officials.
While the flu vaccine’s effectiveness can vary from season to season and is not a 100-percent guarantee against preventing the flu, recent studies indicate the vaccination can reduce the risk of getting the flu by about 60 percent, Vignari said.
“Overall, flu vaccination is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and others from getting the flu and also reducing the potential risks and complications related to the flu,” Vignari said. “Flu vaccination is overall a benefit to overall public health.”
Those who receive the vaccination and get the flu will exhibit much milder symptoms and those symptoms will not last as long, Vignari said.
The flu shot reduces the risk of complications and hospitalizations, protects the unborn baby in a pregnant woman and protects the people around you, especially those most vulnerable, Vignari said.
Other tips also help protect against the flu and other viruses that circulate this time of year, Vignari said.
They include avoiding close contact with sick people. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face (eyes, nose and mouth.)
Get plenty of rest and maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fluids.
And if you do get sick, stay home.
For more information, visit The Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov/flu/.