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Flu prevention

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Updated: 8/21/2014 7:06 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA)-- The warm or better yet, hot temperatures may have your thoughts far away from the flu season.

"Typically the flu season starts anywhere from November/December, running through mainly March," said Dr. Kevin Johnson.
But Dr. Johnson says it's better to get the flu vaccine early than to wait until the peak of flu season.

"It's typically recommended that folks are vaccinated by the end of October. So as soon as flu shots are available, that's when we start recommending that people go ahead and get them," said Johnson.

And, it turns out, flu shots are already available at some local pharmacies. But why is it important to get vaccinated early?

"What the flu vaccine is doing is, it's causing your body to produce antibodies to the flu virus and it takes several weeks for those antibodies to get built up. So to have the maximum effect of the shot, you need to give it two to three weeks to really have a chance for your body to build up its defenses," said Johnson.

Though Dr. Johnson categorized last flu season as moderate, he says there was a strain that was severe and even fatal.

"Typically you associate the flu and deaths with those who are older and those who have chronic illnesses, but we saw several people last year who were young and healthy who unfortunately died from it," said Johnson,

You can still get the flu even if you get a flu shot, there is not a 100 percent guarantee, but Johnson notes, when that happens those cases are typically less severe.
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