| Tue, Aug 13, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

Flu Season is Right Around the Corner. Protect Yourself With a Flu Shot.

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

flu pneumonia shotAugust is National Immunization Awareness Month. Protect yourself. Get your flu or pneumonia shot.

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. When the virus is inhaled, it attacks cells in the upper respiratory tract. Typical symptoms of the flu are fatigue, fever and chills, a hacking cough, and body aches. Flu victims are also susceptible to possible life-threatening secondary infections.

Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs. The infection may be caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Pneumonia causes inflammation in your lung’s air sacs, also referred to as alveoli.

How do you get the flu or pneumonia?

You can get the flu or pneumonia when an infected person coughs or sneezes near you. Flu germs can also be transmitted through surfaces that other people have touched, such as door knobs. An infected person can spread the flu virus to other people up to five days before they have developed symptoms. You can get pneumonia from bacteria or a virus, like a cold or the flu, or other respiratory illness.

You do not get the flu or pneumonia from the flu or pneumonia vaccination.

Who’s most at risk?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the people most at risk for developing problems from the flu include:

Getting vaccinated may help protect you against the flu

A yearly flu shot is one of the best ways to reduce your chances of getting the flu. It may even help protect you against pneumonia. A pneumonia shot may help protect against some of the most common and serious types of pneumonia.

Talk to your doctor to find out what is best for you.

Generally, you should get a flu shot every year. Flu shots are usually available in September and remain available throughout the fall and winter months. Most people need a one-time pneumonia shot at age 65 or older.

You can get your flu or pneumonia shot in a doctor’s office or at a participating pharmacy at no cost to you. Medicare Part B covers the cost of flu shots and other preventive care services, as well as doctor visits and outpatient care.

For more information, contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.

Resources:

Seasonal Influenza (Flu): View Free Resources, printed material, images and videos– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov)

 

Medicare Part B Coverage Information about your preventive services benefit and more at MedicareMadeClear.com

National Immunization Awareness Month Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov)

 

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