Flu vaccination

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COLUMBIA - As September begins, physicians are beginning to encourage patients to get their flu vaccinations.

In a press release by MU Health Care, infectious disease physician Dr. Christelle Ilboudo, said it's important to get vaccinated early

"Influenza viruses can start circulating as early as September and can last as late as May," Ilboudo said. "The injectable vaccine takes up to two weeks to provide full protection after receiving it, so it’s advisable to get vaccinated sometime between September and the end of October."

By getting the vaccine early, Ilboudo said the chances of actually contracting the influenza decreases dramatically.

There are several different types of the virus that can affect people.
“The different strains of flu that are suspected to be prevalent for a given year are included in the vaccine for that flu season. Influenza vaccinations reduce flu illness and doctor visits, as well as missed work and school," Ilboudo said.
She said vaccines are the best way to prevent the virus, even though they don't work all of the time. She said it's possible to still get the flu if the strain doesn't match the vaccine.
In those cases, the symptoms usually aren't as severe in comparison to someone who wasn't vaccinated.

MU student Amari Anderson said she did not get vaccinated last flu season and was infected with the virus.

"At first I just thought I had a common cold. I went to the student health center and they said I had the flu and recommended that I should be in bed resting for a week before going back to class," Anderson said.

She said she's not sure if she'll get the vaccine this year.

"I'm probably going to stick it out and see what happens. I'm just really not a shot person and I don't think it's going to work for me," Anderson said.

In addition to coughing, sneezing and a sore throat, other symptoms of the flu include headaches, muscle aches and fatigue.

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