ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Even though it’s not cold outside just yet, it’s that time of year again to start thinking about getting your flu shot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the best time to get your shot is in the first week of October.
Getting a flu shot is the most important step in protecting yourself against the viral infection, according to the CDC.
"Benefits of getting that injection means protecting you, and by more people getting we call that herd immunity it protects those who have not got the vaccine as well,” said Dr. Jembber Robinson with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.
Robinson also said younger children and seniors remain most at risk for serious complications and anyone six months and older can get the flu shot.
“If you are going to be around infants that are less than 6-months-old, that’s a big population that I want people to understand you could literally save their lives just by getting the vaccine for yourself,” she said.
Last year, people across the nation were hospitalized because of the flu, and there were thousands that died from the flu.
“If you have flu symptoms, go get checked out. Don’t keep going to work and spreading those germs without knowing what you have,” Robinson said.
Robinson, like most doctors, recommends the flu shot but said there are misconceptions.
"You may get some general symptoms but you are not getting the flu. Most of the time that you’re getting a flu shot it is an inactivated. It couldn’t get you sick if it wanted to,” she said.
To prevent getting the virus, the CDC said to cover your mouth or nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, keep your hands clean and to stay home when you are sick to prevent spreading the illness.
“It spreads by droplets and that sneeze that is innocent could be sending flu to other people around you without them even knowing and without you even realizing it,” Robinson said.
Symptoms of the flu include body aches, a cough, runny nose, sore throat and nausea.