Sept. 28, 2022
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Clinic Health System is now offering influenza (flu) vaccinations at all primary care locations throughout Wisconsin.
Influenza, commonly referred to as “flu," is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. Studies have also shown that vaccination reduces the risk of serious influenza, including hospital admission.
While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and March, but activity can last as late as May.
“It is especially important to receive your flu vaccine this year," said Dr. Edward Belongia, a vaccine scientist with Marshfield Clinic Research Institute. “There was very little influenza during the past two years of the pandemic, and the level of population immunity has declined. This could lead to a more severe flu season this winter."
You should get a flu vaccine before influenza begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against influenza to develop in the body. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October for best protection for the influenza season.
Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.
It is easy and convenient to schedule your flu vaccine online through your My Marshfield Clinic account. Visit marshfieldclinic.org/flu for information and appointment options. The Health System offers flu vaccines at primary care locations during flu season. Flu vaccine appointments are preferred, but our locations also offer flu clinics periodically throughout the season to make it convenient for patients and community members to stop in for a flu shot.
You can prevent the flu
When you receive the flu vaccine, you are not only helping yourself but also helping others around you. CDC reports:
- People with influenza are most contagious in the first three-to-four days after their illness begins.
- Some healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five-to-seven days after becoming sick.
- Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with influenza viruses for an even longer time.
The time from when a person is exposed and infected with influenza to when symptoms begin is about two days, but can range from about one-to-four days.
Beyond influenza symptoms, complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.