Harvard Men's Health Watch

January is not too late to benefit from a flu shot

It's always best to get your flu vaccination early in the season, but making it your first New Year's resolution can still pay off. The peak spread of the flu virus occurs in January and February, and people can continue to get sick into mid-May, say experts.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults at particular risk for severe flu are those 65 and older and people with heart, lung, or kidney disease or weakened immune systems. A severe bout with flu can land these people in the hospital. Thousands die every year from severe complications of the flu, including worsening of existing chronic health conditions and bacterial pneumonia.

The CDC states that most people catch the flu by coming into contact with tiny droplets coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. Less commonly, you may contract the infection by touching a surface that has viral particles on it and then touching your eyes or mouth.

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