Nasal sprays no longer an option to prevent flu
ABILENE, Texas - Flu season is almost here and to best prepare your family, flu shots are recommended.
In the first week of October, 75 people were tested for the flu at Hendrick Medical Center and two tested positive. According to Hendrick, that number is on track for an average year.
"It is more prevalent in the fall and winter. It's because we're more indoors and we're sharing, and around each other more in enclosed areas," said BJ Stanke, a registered nurse at the Hendrick trauma center.
Even if you got the shot last year, you still need to get it again this year.
"Last year's is not going to protect you this year because there will be different strains of the flu each year," said Stanke.
If you don't like needles and have gotten the nasal spray in recent years, that option is no longer available.
"Flu vaccine is offered as an injection only. They have found that the nasal spray has not been as effective," said Stanke.
Those that need to be most concerned about the flu include people who are "immune compromised" such as the elderly, the very young, and those expecting. But it's not just about protecting yourself, getting the shot can help prevent those around you from getting infected.
"To protect everyone you're around. We want to decrease the number of flu cases and the people that I've mentioned previously, the immune compromised and the elderly and the very young, the flu can be detrimental to them," said Stanke.
If you do get the flu, Stanke advises to stay hydrated and stay away from other people so that you don't spread it.
"If you feel you're getting sicker, especially if you're elderly or a small child, check with your physician," said Stanke.
Another reason to prevent the flu is to prevent it from turning into more severe illnesses like pneumonia or bronchitis.