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McLean County Health
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200 W. Front St.
Bloomington, IL 61701
Ph: (309) 888-5450
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Truth Is: Alex's Flu Story
In 2009, Alex Haines of Bloomington was a normal teenage boy. He liked sports, video games and hanging out with his friends. His parents never thought twice about the flu. They did not think their healthy kids could get seriously ill from such a minor illness. Truth is, it can happen to anyone. And it happend to Alex. In October 2009, he became critically ill with the flu and ended up in the hospital for weeks. Watch Alex's Flu Story:  



 
The Flu Ends With You
Thankfully, Alex's story has a happy ending. The flu is a preventable illness that affects up to 20% of the US population each year. Flu results in more than 500,000 hospitalizations and an estimated 36,000 deaths annually. For most, it is a mild illness that leads to a few uncomfortable days of missed school or work. But for others, like Alex, it can be extremely serious. The #1 way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot every year. Flu shots are available through healthcare providers, retail pharmacies, and, for those who are elligible, the McLean County Health Department. Flu season officially begins in October, but the flu can circulate year round. It takes about two weeks after the flu shot for you to be fully protected. It is important to to get immunized early, before flu activity is high. It is also important flu shot every year, since the strains used to make the vaccine change annually depending on what strains are expected to circulate.  

Community Immunity
Getting a flu shot not only protects yourself, but it protects those around you. Community Immunity refers to the phenomenon that happens when the immunized community provides protection to those who are not immunized because no disease circulates. This is particularly important for people who can not get a flu shot due to being to young, having compromised immune systems or allergies that prevent them from being able to get vaccinations, or other reasons.

For more information on where you can get a flu shot, contact your healthcare provider, visit the McLean County Health Department's Influenza webpage, or visit www.flu.gov and use your location to search for flu shot sites closest to you.

 

The FLU Ends with U – www.flu.gov