Flu season is here and officials urge vaccinations
By Mariann Martin, Chattanooga Times Free Press - bio | email
Richard Ridley and Clarinda Ridley get their shots at a drive-by flu shot clinic at the Murray County Recreation Center in Chatsworth, GA Tuesday. Photo by Alyson Wright / Times Free Press
CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -- It's that wonderful time of the year again for chilly mornings, crisp apples, colorful leaves -- and your flu vaccine.
With flu season officially kicking off around the beginning of October, local health departments and doctors' offices have been sticking their patients for weeks. Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported only minimal flu activity across the country during its first week of tracking numbers, local officials say it is important to get that vaccine as soon as possible.
"It's the single best way to protect yourself and the people you care about," said Nettie Gerstle, communicable disease program manager at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department.
The flu season is unpredictable and varies from season to season, but it usually begins in October and ends in May, commonly peaking in January or February. A vaccination takes about two weeks to become effective, so it is best to get one early, Gerstle said.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:54 AM EDT2013-05-22 11:54:16 GMT
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