Illinois hasn’t had much of a flu season in 2015, but don’t count the virus out yet.
Most people think that they’ve outlasted the flu if they haven’t gotten it by Christmas, said Marsha Wild, a registered nurse who works at the St. Clair County Health Department. Last winter, the flu peaked in late December, though it typically peaks in January or February.
So far, Illinois has had “sporadic” cases of flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC, the Illinois Department of Health and the St. Clair County Department of Health, all recommend that everyone six months and older get vaccinated.
The flu vaccination takes about two weeks to take effect, but, Wild stressed, it is still not too late to get one.
And what if you’re already sick?
“Clean, cover and contain,” said Melaney Arnold of the Illinois Department of Health.
That is, wash your hands often, cover you cough and protect others from the flu by staying home if you can.
Children through the age of 5 may receive vaccinations through the Women and Children program, or WIC, and St. Clair County offers free vaccinations for minors who meet income eligibility requirements at the Health Department, which is downtown on the northwest side of the fountain at 19 Public Square.
Wild recommends calling ahead to check for eligibility and to schedule an appointment. The Health Department’s number is (618) 233-7703.