Not too late to get a flu shot

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: A previous edition incorrectly stated that there have been more Type A than Type B confirmed cases of influenza. According to the South Dakota Department of Health, there have been more Type B cases.

Dr. Syed Shah, who practices internal medicine and is medical director at Sioux Falls Urgent Care, says we have hit a peak in the flu season. He also says it is not too late to get the flu shot.

“Right now for the last few weeks, we are in the peak of our season, we are on an average, like today, probably we had 10 to 12 positives here, and then we have been seeing that for the last, two or three weeks, definitely a peak,” Shah said.

Shah says if you haven’t gotten the flu shot, you should.

“You’re getting ready to support your immune system so that you can fight the infection,” Shah said. “That’s where the flu shot comes into the picture.”

He says your body needs some time after you get the shot.

“If I give you the shot today, it’s not going to be, you’re not going to be strong enough tomorrow to fight influenza,” Shah said. “It takes about a good seven to 10 days for that to kick into your system. But supportive treatment is the most important thing. What do I mean by supportive is good hygiene or hydration, good volume, trying to take care of that you’re not spreading the disease.”

Kelly Heikens, a nurse at Sioux Falls Urgent Care, explains how a flu test can go.

“I think some people have maybe misconceived ideas about really how easy the test is or is not,” Heikens said. “And literally we, these come with a kit that is testing for influenza A and B, and it is just a nasal swab, so literally you take it out, and you’re going to swab partial up the nare and then you’re going to go to the other side to the other nare.”

As far as who can get the flu shot, Shah says “six months onward.” The most recent weekly summary on the South Dakota Department of Health’s website for the flu has 7,552 total confirmed cases this season, with more Type B than Type A.

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