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Published: Monday, 10/10/2005

High risk for flu? Get your shot soon

When should I get a flu shot?

October or November is the best time. This year, the federal government advises high-risk people to get flu shots first, and anyone else who wants a flu shot to wait until Oct. 24 or later.

Who is considered high-risk and should get a flu shot?

People age 65 years and older, residents of long-term care facilities, people age 2 64 years with chronic health conditions, children age 6 23 months, pregnant women, health-care personnel who provide direct patient care, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age.

How do I know if I have the flu?

Symptoms include exhaustion, fever (usually high), headache, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches.

How bad is the flu?

Every year in the United States, on average, 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from flu.

Luke Shockman

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