Skip to main content

Influenza | Flu

Get your family vaccinated against influenza (the flu) this season. It’s the best way to protect you and your loved ones from getting the flu.

 

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine.

 

Being sick with the flu is hard on you and your loved ones. Anyone can get sick from the flu, but certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu, including:

  • People over the age of 65
  • Young Children
  • People with chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, neurologic conditions, and certain other long-term health conditions.
  • Pregnant Women

The Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention recommends a flu vaccine for all people older than six months. 

What is the flu?

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. It is a contagious viral infection that can spread when people cough, sneeze or talk. A flu vaccine protects people against the most common flu viruses. Flu season typically falls between October and May. The best way to avoid the flu is to get a flu vaccination before flu season begins. It takes about two weeks for a flu shot for it to become fully effective.

Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Get Vaccinated.

Contact your MaineHealth provider to schedule a flu vaccine appointment for you and your loved ones. Or, visit VaccineFinder.org for more information on where to get a flu vaccine.

Common symptoms include:

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headaches

  • Feeling overly tired

  • Fever/chills

  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Contact your primary care provider if you believe you or a loved one has the flu. They will diagnose whether it is the flu, or just a cold.

Should I get an antiviral prescription?

Most of the time, people do not need antiviral drugs and can recover at home. Some people are at a higher risk of having complications from the flu. In certain cases, antiviral medication can be prescribed to help combat influenza. Complications can include:

  • Sinus infections
  • Ear infections
  • Pneumonia

Talk to your doctor about whether antiviral medication is a good choice for you. Antiviral drugs work best when prescribed within two days of getting the flu. 


What else should I do?

  • Get lots of bed rest
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed
  • Avoid contact with others
  • Stay home until you feel better

Contact your provider right away if you have any of the following medical conditions and believe you may have the flu. The flu can make certain health conditions worse. You may need additional treatment.

  • Asthma
  • Blood disorders
  • Cancer
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Extreme obesity
  • Heart disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Metabolic disorders

Getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. You should also:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water
  • Use antibacterial hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow (not your hands)
  • Stay home as much as possible if you get sick
  • Wear a mask around others if you get sick