Flu season has arrived in Wyoming, and the state’s Department of Health is urging residents to get their flu shots.
Department spokeswoman Kim Deti said it is nearly impossible to predict the severity of the flu season ahead of time, but they can always predict that it is coming.
“We’ve started to see some early signs around Wyoming, some sporadic cases here and there so we know it’s on the way. And one of the things that we recommend to people each year before each flu season is that pretty much everyone over the age of 6 months should get that annual flu shot,” said Deti.
Because it takes some time for the vaccine to properly work, Deti said it’s ideal to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
“One of the things that not everybody realizes is that it takes about two weeks for a flu vaccine to start doing its job, to really start protecting you. So we don’t want you to wait until everybody around you is ill and then decide it’s time to get your flu shot. It’s just not going to do the job for you at that point,” she said.
The 2016-2017 flu season was considered moderately severe in Wyoming, with 15 flu-related deaths.
Deti said more vaccinations means more protection, especially for those who are more vulnerable to complications, like the very old, very young, and those with compromised immune systems.
Flu shots can be obtained at public health offices, doctor’s offices, and some workplaces and pharmacies. Common sense measures, like washing your hands often, covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing, and staying home from work when sick, can also help slow the spread of the flu.