Sooner rather than later, according to Dr. Mark Sankoorikal, internal medicine physician with The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus.
“Get the flu shot. It is the most effective strategy to preventing the flu,” Sankoorikal explained.
The science of the flu vaccine and how it affects the body is a common concern every fall.
“The flu shot is created months in advance to anticipate the strains of the virus that will show up during flu season. It cannot give you the flu. The most common side effect is having soreness where the shot is given,” Sankoorikal said.
With few exceptions, everyone 6 months or older should get a flu shot every year.
Pregnant women, young children and older adults are more likely to get serious
flu complications if they get sick with flu.
“The flu is more likely to cause severe illness in someone who is pregnant, so the flu shot is the best step in protecting against that happening. The flu shot also helps protect their babies from the flu for the first few months after birth, when they are too young to get the vaccine.”
In addition to getting the flu shot, Dr. Sankoorikal recommends the following advice to stay healthy:
“Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick and wash your hands often. If you are feeling sick, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.”
Steer clear of coworkers or classmates who are feeling under the weather.
“The influenza virus is often spread by the coughs and sneezes of someone who has the flu,” Dr. Sankoorikal said. “The virus can spread through the air and infect people in close contact with someone who is sick.”
Don’t wait to get vaccinated. To learn more or schedule an appointment with Topeka native Dr. Sankoorikal, call 785-232-4248.
Dr. Sankoorikal is now accepting new primary care patients 18 years and older. His office is conveniently located in our River Hill location in the Tallgrass Medical Building just down the hill from our Tallgrass Ambulatory Surgery Center.