A flu vaccine is your best defense to fight influenza. While it is important to receive the flu vaccination each fall, this year it is especially critical due to the ongoing presence of COVID-19.
At Bronson, protecting yourself and your family from the flu is easy, and a flu vaccine is your best defense. If you're a Bronson primary care patient, you can call your doctor's office to schedule a time for your flu shot, or you can walk into a Bronson walk-in flu clinics.
What is flu?
Influenza (commonly known as the flu), is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus that spreads through the air from people coughing, sneezing or talking. You can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face.
In the U.S., flu season can start as early as October and extend into May and tends to peak in the winter months.
Who should get a flu vaccine?
- Everyone age six months and older should get a flu vaccine
- Babies under six months and those with specific allergies should not get a flu shot
- There are different flu shots approved for people of different ages and those with chronic conditions
- If you are pregnant or have a chronic condition, it is still safe and highly recommended to get your flu shot
- You should get your flu shot every year
Symptoms of Flu
Flu symptoms typically show up one to four days after the flu virus enters your body.
- Chills / body aches
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuff nose
If you’re sick, you should avoid contact with others. Healthy adults infected with flu can pass along the virus one day before symptoms develop and up to seven days after becoming sick. Children and people with weakened immune systems may be infectious for a longer time.
Many adults feel better in a week or two, while others, including small children, the elderly and the chronically ill, may have a harder time recovering.
How to Avoid Getting the Flu
- Get a flu shot – The best way to prevent the flu is through a vaccine. You can receive a vaccine from your primary care provider or at another Bronson location.
- Wash your hands frequently – Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Or, clean with alcohol-based gel or foam.
- Avoid touching your face – The germs can enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact others who may be sick – Flu is most often spread person-to-person. People with flu can spread it to others up to six feet away.
- Live a healthy lifestyle – You need plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape this time of year.
Help for the Flu at Bronson
If you start experiencing flu-like symptoms (including fever, chills, cough or shortness of breath), you should stay home and drink plenty of fluids, get lots of rest, avoid contact with other people and take one of the following next steps:
- Call a Bronson Care Advisor at (269) 341-7788
- Bronson Care Advisors are available 24/7 and can connect you to the care option that best meets your needs. We can provide you with same day services or schedule an upcoming appointment with a Bronson provider.
- BronsonConnect Video Visit
- If you need help with the flu, whether you’re at home, at work or traveling, you can connect face-to-face with a Bronson doctor. Use BronsonConnect anywhere you have an internet connection and a smart phone, tablet or computer.
- Contact your Primary Care Provider
- Current patients can schedule in-person or video visit appointments by calling the office.
- Bronson MyChart Video Visit: Bronson primary care—and many specialty care appointments—can now be done online using the Bronson MyChart App.
- Find a Doctor: Looking for a Primary Care Provider? Find a doctor and schedule online or by calling (269) 341-7788.
Because flu and COVID-19 symptoms are so similar, it is important you self-isolate for at least 14 days, outside from seeking medical care. If you live with others, even pets, you should try to find an area of the home, away from others, where you can quarantine.
Get notified when the flu vaccine is available
Current Bronson patients can register to be notified when the flu vaccine is available. You may also call your Bronson doctor’s office for information on availability.
Learn more about flu
Learn more about the flu on our FAQ page, or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Influenza (flu) page.
Those with limited access to the internet can learn more about flu vaccines at Bronson can call the Flu Hotline at (269) 341-6400.