Flu season is upon us, and it’s time to go get your flu shot.

The best prevention for getting the flu, is getting the flu vaccine.

“That’s the number one thing that we recommend for all age groups 6 months and older,” said infection preventionist Meagan Garibay. “The next best thing is to wash your hands frequently and obviously avoid sick people and avoid crowded places, anything where lots of sickness might be.”

Flu season is from October to March. Each year the vaccine is different.

“The flu viruses that are circulating are different every year,” said Garibay. “So they have to kind of get ahead of that and create a vaccine that they think is going to be the best match for whatever viruses are going to be circulating in that year.”

Meagan Garibay is an infection preventionist at CCMH. She says the flu can be deadly, and to recognize the symptoms

“Fever, body aches. In children they will have gastrointestinal symptoms,” said Garibay. “So they’ll have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Adults typically don’t see that. It can present in some cases, but usually with adults it’s high fever and body aches.”

Garibay says one of the biggest misconceptions about the flu vaccine, is that you can get the flu from the flu vaccine. Which she says is not true.

“It is an inactivated virus. It will not give you the flu,” said Garibay. “Some people that get the flu vaccine and then get the flu immediately after, is because they waited too long to get it. The flu vaccine takes up to 2 weeks to reach maximum effectiveness. So if you wait too long in the season and you’re exposed to the flu, even though you’ve had the vaccine, you can still get the flu.”

She says the best thing to do if you get the flu, is to stay home and get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.

If you would like to get your flu shot, talk with your physician, or go to any county health department. Garibay says most pharmacies carry the flu vaccine as well.