As flu season arrives, the Florida Health Department offers tips on prevention

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The flu can lead to sometimes life threatening complications, that’s why experts say the most important prevention method is getting your flu shot early.

A flu shot is the number one way to prevent getting this illness, and becomes effective two weeks after the shot is given.

There are many different locations that offer the vaccination, some for free.

“You can go almost anywhere to get a flu shot, you can go to the grocery store, you can go to your big box stores like Target and Walmart. There’s a number of different places you can get it. It’s not important where you get it, just go where’s most convenient for you. And get the shot if you’re able to do so, and get it for your children if they are able to do so,” said Health Department Spokeswoman Heather Kretzer.

The illness is contagious and airborne. Symptoms include fever, sore throat and even the chills.

The Health Department says there are ways to fight it.

“There’s a number of things you can do to prevent getting the flu, of course proper hand washing is a big one, making sure you keep surfaces clean, washing your hands or using sanitizer will go a long way. But one of the most important things is if you are able to, then get a flu shot,” said Kretzer.

The flu can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours, that’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does its best to put the most common strains into the shot itself.

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