Editorial: Roll up your sleeve

It’s that time of year when the temperature drops and people come in from the cold. Flu season is knocking at our door. Now is the time to get your flu shot.

People cite a number of reasons for not getting a shot. It hurts, the shot will make me sick, the flu is not so bad. All wrong.

The shot does not hurt. The nurses from Visiting Nurse & Hospice who have been giving out flu shots in Wilton and will continue to do so are experts. They use a tiny needle and it is over before you know it.

The shot will not give you the flu because the virus used is inactive.

The flu is bad. Anyone who has had the flu — the real flu, not a bad cold — can tell you this. Flu can be very serious among young children, older adults, and people with chronic illnesses like asthma, heart disease, or diabetes.

The flu comes on quickly, bringing with it fever, cough, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes a stuffy nose and sore throat. While the actual virus may last only three to four miserable days, the aftereffects can linger quite a while, particularly the fatigue.

Close contact this time of year makes it easy for germs to spread from person to person, including the flu virus. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older who does not have contraindications.

To prevent the flu, it’s important to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw away used tissues. Always cough or sneeze into the elbow, and wash hands often.

Although the peak of flu season usually occurs in mid-winter, outbreaks can occur any time now, which is why the nursing agency began offering shots in September. It takes two weeks for the body to develop immunity.

There are several opportunities to get a flu shot in town next week:

  • Monday at Wilton Library from 3:30 to 5.

  • Tuesday at town hall from 11 to 1.

  • Wednesday at the Kiwanis Club meeting at WEPCO from 11 to 12:30.

For more dates, visit http://bit.ly/2yeDee6 .

The cost of the vaccine is $50 for the regular dose and $68 for the high dose, which will be available for those aged 65 or over. Cash or check will be accepted or it can be billed directly to Medicare Part B, Aetna, Anthem, Connecticare, Harvard Pilgrim, Multi Plan or Wellcare.

You may, of course, also go to your doctor’s office, CVS, or Stop & Shop.

So roll up your sleeve. It’s the right thing to do for yourself, your family and everyone around you.