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Flu season is around the corner: what you need to know

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Now that the season will soon be changing from summer to fall, flu season is right around the corner. Flu season is very difficult to predict—timing, severity and type of flu virus strain often vary year to year. 

When does flu season begin and what should we do to prepare?

The Center for Disease Control recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.

Getting the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available each year is a good idea and the protection you get from vaccination will last throughout the flu season.

Aside from the vaccine, you can take simple, everyday preventive steps like staying away from sick people and washing your hands. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others. 

Who is at high risk for developing complications due to the flu?

In addition to the three groups above, those with chronic illness such as heart disease, lung disease including asthma, diabetes, blood disorders and neurological disorders.

Where can we get the vaccine and how much is expected to be available?

Yearly flu vaccination should begin in September or as soon as the vaccine is available and can continue as late as May. This is because the timing and duration of flu seasons vary. While flu season can begin in October, most of the time seasonal flu activity peaks in January, February or later. 

When it comes to actually getting the vaccine, it's important to know that flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor's offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers and even in some schools.

For more tips and information, make sure to tune in at 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday for Dr. Campbell's segment on WNCN Today.

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