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The influenza vaccine protects you against three strains of flu: influenza A virus, influenza B virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus.  The vaccine takes usually two weeks for your body to develop antibodies. These antibodies fight off the infection if you are exposed to the flu virus. At this time, this season’s vaccine is well matched to the flu strains circulating in the United States, so this season’s vaccine is expected to provide good protection against most influenza illness.
 
Every year, flu spreads across the country from person to person and community to community. It can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death.  People at highest risk for developing serious flu complications include young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes (type 1 and type 2), heart disease, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, blood disorders, morbid obesity, kidney and liver disorders, HIV or AIDS, and cancer.

Remember, flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to family and friends.

 
Another good way to prevent the spread of germs and to prevent influenza is to follow the “Three C’s”
                Clean your hands - after using the restroom and before eating
                Cover your cough - by coughing or sneezing into your elbow or into a tissue
                Contain your germs - by staying home if you are feeling sick
 
Getting a flu shot is convenient and easy! The 2011-2012 flu vaccine is available at the Winnebago County Health Department, and local health care providers,” said Sue Fuller, Public Information Officer, with the Winnebago County Health Department. You can call the Winnebago County Health Department at 815-720-4264, to schedule an appointment for a flu vaccination. For more information on the 2011-2012 flu season visit the Winnebago County Health Department website @ www.wchd.org, or connect to the department through Twitter or find us on Facebook.
 
Once vaccinated, you can enjoy this holiday season knowing that you have taken the single best step to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu. Remember, the “Flu Ends With U”. Get a flu vaccine, not the flu.
 
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