CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - We are beginning to get into flu season, and health officials are reminding people of the importance of getting a flu shot.
They say it's all to protect not only yourself, but to also help keep the virus from spreading.
Nurses at the Carteret County Heath Department say getting a flu shot should be a priority for everyone, but especially for young children, the elderly, and anyone with a chronic illness.
Health officials say those groups are the most susceptible to having severe reactions from the flu virus and it can even be deadly for those at high risk for the flu.
Officials say flu season generally runs from fall to spring and can spike during the holidays.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says that 219 people died during the 2016-2017 flu season in our state, making the flu shot that protects against the virus all the more important.
"It's very important for people to vaccinated against the flu, there are a number of different strains and we feel like the flu vaccine that we have is certainly going to defend people against the flu this year," explains Kim Davis, the nursing director.
Nurses say it's important to know the symptoms of the flu, like having a fever over 100 degrees, achy body, chills, fatigue, a runny or stuffy nose, and coughing.
If you begin to develop any of these symptoms you should stay at home.
They also say you should make sure to cover all coughs and sneezes.
Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently is critical to helping prevent the flu from spreading and to help protect yourself from getting it.
The Carteret County Heath Department is offering flu shots for patients Monday through Friday from 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. and officials say you do not need an appointment to get your vaccine.