Cold and flu season is here: Here’s how you can protect yourself

With the return of cold and flu season, the Eau Claire City Health Department wants to remind everyone to get their flu shots

More stories from Kailin Schumacher


Photo by Eau Claire City-County Health Department

A Center for Disease Control and Prevention study has shown that flu shots decreases the likelihood of flu-related hospitalization by 32 percent

Cold and flu season is just around the corner, and the Eau Claire City County Health Department wants to remind everyone to get their flu shots. The Health Department revealed in a news release that more than 104 Eau Claire County residents were hospitalized due to influenza during last cold and flu season.

Influenza is a serious and contagious respiratory disease that can infect the nose, throat and lungs,” Allison Gosbin, a public health nurse, said. “It can lead to severe illnesses and even death. Some people are at higher risk for complications from the flu, including babies and small children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses. You should get your flu shot, not only to protect yourself, but also your loved ones and those around you who may be more vulnerable to severe illness.”

While the flu shot can have mild side effects — such as mild fever, soreness, swelling or body aches — influenza can cause you to be sick in bed for a week or longer. The Health Department wants to emphasize that influenza in not the stomach flu, and that while symptoms are similar to the common cold, influenza symptoms are more severe.

The Center Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study over multiple flu seasons, showing that getting a flu shot reduced the risk of being admitted to the hospital with the flu by 32 percent. Getting a flu shot protects others as well as oneself.

Schumacher can be reached at [email protected].