Flu season is well under way, and we’ve started to see cases popping up in the surrounding area. It’s important to take every precaution to protect yourself from the flu this season. In order to do this, here are some things to put into practice:

Seek medical attention if you are experiencing flu symptoms.

Wash your hands frequently.

Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with unclean hands.

Limit your exposure to sick people.

Get yourself vaccinated.

Many people don’t see the danger in contracting the flu. They view it as a nastier version of the common cold, or as a mythical illness that is unlikely to affect them. Every year, however, between 3,000 and 49,000 people die from the flu. In many cases the deaths occur in elderly people or young children, but it’s not impossible for a healthy, middle-aged individual to die from the flu.

This year, there are two different types of flu vaccine options available for the general public, each offering multiple ways of being administered. The first type is a trivalent flu vaccine, which protects against one influenza B virus and two influenza A viruses. The second is a quadrivalent flu vaccine, which protects against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The quadrivalent flu vaccine is also offered as a nasal spray, which is strongly recommended for young, healthy children.

You can get vaccinated at your doctor’s office, local clinics, health departments, pharmacies, at college health centers, and sometimes through your school or work. Because flu vaccinations can take weeks to start working, it’s crucial to get vaccinated as early in the flu season as possible.

Regardless of your age, ethnicity, or health background, everyone should be vaccinated this flu season. Vaccinating not only prevents you from personally contracting the flu, but helps minimize the disease’s ability to spread. If you’re unsure about which type of vaccination would be best for you, discuss it with your doctor! The most important thing is keeping everyone happy and healthy, and a simple flu vaccination is an easy way of doing that.