The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu shot, and the best place to get a flu shot is through your doctor. Make sure that everyone in your family gets one so that you are protected during flu season.
If you are over the age of 18 and live in Philadelphia, you can visit one of the health department's many flu shot clinics held around the community during November and December.
Community flu clinics are free and open to the public. Flu shots are also available during flu season on a walk-in basis at one of our health centers.
The best place for children to get a flu shot is from their doctor. Children who are eligible for VFC vaccine can receive flu shots for free from doctors who participate in the VFC program.
Children can also get a flu shot at one of our health centers. The Community Flu Clinics that are held throughout Philadelphia are not for children.
Although influenza is fairly common (up to one out of every five people in the US will get the flu each year), it is actually a very serious disease. Each year in the US, influenza kills about 36,000 people and causes 200,000 to be admitted to the hospital.
People at greatest risk from influenza include the elderly, very young children, pregnant women, and people who have medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease.
Getting a flu shot every year is the single best way to prevent getting the flu. You should also make sure to do everyday things to prevent the spread of flu, like washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth whenever you sneeze or cough, and staying home from work or school when you are sick.
A new type of flu, called H1N1 influenza (or swine flu), started making people sick during the 2009-10 flu season. H1N1 flu is different from seasonal flu, but both types of flu cause the same types of symptoms in sick people, so you can't tell what type of flu a person has just by looking at them.
For the 2009-10 flu season, people needed two vaccines to protect them against H1N1 and seasonal influenza. For the 2010-11 flu season, people can get one flu shot to protect them against both H1N1 and seasonal flu.