The flu is a common virus that can take days to weeks to recover from, with a season running from early fall through the end of spring, peaking between December and March each year. Millions of cases are reported each year, with the virus hitting epidemic levels come winter. The flu is highly contagious and can spread quickly through communities and areas where people are in close quarters including offices, classrooms, dormitories and even homes. The most effective way to prevent contracting the influenza virus after exposure is by getting an annual flu shot, which provides immunity against the current strain of the flu for six months. AFC Urgent Care West Hartford is able to administer flu shots seven days a week to walk-in patients.
Common symptoms of influenza
Patients who have contracted the flu virus may experience a fever, chest or nasal congestion, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion and muscle aches. Symptoms can last for a few days up to several weeks.
How the flu shot works
The flu shot provides your body with immunity against the virus by exposing you to a weakened strain of the virus, which allows your immune system to learn the virus as well as create antibodies that will be able to fight against it without developing symptoms. Because antibodies are created, the vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective. You should get an updated flu shot each year in order to maintain immunity because the flu virus continuously changes and evolves throughout the season. The flu shot is produced each year to fight against the most common strains of the virus as determined by global health organizations and doctors.
Who should get a flu shot?
The flu shot is recommended for almost everyone over the age of six months. Certain groups of people who are considered high risk and should consult with their physician about when to get their flu shot and to ensure there is plenty of time for it to take effect prior to when the virus begins to spread through your community. High-risk individuals include:
- Pregnant women
- Patients who are immunocompromised
- Patients with chronic health conditions including cancer, asthma and diabetes
The flu vaccine is not recommended for patients who have had a negative response to a prior flu shot or who have an egg allergy. Consult with your physician about effective forms of flu prevention if these criteria apply to you.
Walk-In Flu Shots in West Hartford, CT
Visit AFC Urgent Care West Hartford for your annual flu shot this fall! Our center begins administering flu shots in September, which will provide you with immunity for the duration of flu season. For more information, please call 860-986-6440.