Illinoisans encouraged to get flu shot on National Influenza Vaccination Week

Cutout Photo: ZaldyImg / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 (MGN)
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- In recognition of National Influenza Vaccination Week from Dec. 2-8, Illinoisans are encouraged to get a flu shot if they have not received one ahead of flu season.

Health experts say flu activity is usually highest between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2017-2018 flu season was one of the deadliest seasons on record. The CDC estimates around 79,000 died from flu last season. Nearly one million people were hospitalized from flu, while around 49 million flu illnesses were also reported in the U.S.

Flu vaccinations are recommended annually for Americans at least six months of age.

"Even healthy people can get the flu," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. "Before you get together with grandkids and grandparents for the holidays, make sure you not only protect yourself from the flu, but your loved ones as well."

Some flu symptoms include fever or feverish chills, coughs, sore throats, runny or stuffy noses, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. It takes around two days after being exposed to the flu before symptoms begin.

Locally, the Winnebago County Health Department offers flu shots Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment.

To find other places that offer flu shots near you, click here​.