Most patients don’t have to worry about flu season for the majority of the year, but when the seasons change and more people are starting to gather indoors, it may mean the start of flu season.

When patients aren’t prepared for flu season, it could lead to a variety of consequences including prolonged illness, irritating symptoms, and potentially worsened medical condition. Nearly 40-43 million people each year experience the flu while thousands are hospitalized due to immune system weaknesses or increased respiratory vulnerability. However, the good news for patients is that flu season and managing your personal care is pretty easy, for the most part. Each patient should take a little bit of time to ensure that they are ready to stay flu free this year.

And as always, we’re here to remind you that the flu shot at an urgent care center is the best way to protect against the influenza virus.  A flu shot helps your body create the immunity needed to protect against the virus each year, so you don’t have to worry too much as flu season peaks:

Be careful of the start of flu season as early as September of each year

Flu season can vary in length, as some years experience delays while others begin exceptionally early. For example, a few years ago the flu season began at the end of August while subsequent years saw the flu season start in September and October. To ensure that flu season isn’t starting early in your community make sure that you follow public health updates throughout the year.

Be mindful that flu outbreaks can peak and remain consistent for several months.

Once flu season hits a “peak,” usually in the middle of October, the virus can still remain highly prevelanent and abundant in your neighborhood. Some flu seasons can experience high flu activity as early as September and still notice record rates into March or April of next year!

Ask your local healthcare providers about flu outbreaks and flu season peak to see if you may need follow up medical appointments or an extended flu shot.

Flu season preparation should begin for patients right as summer is ending.

It is never too early to prepare for flu season… once the summer ends. Even though the flu season is likely to take place at the start of autumn, taking some time to plan your flu shot and other medical appointments is key to staying flu-free throughout the year. Make sure you get that flu shot and take some time to prepare for flu season!