Doctors urge you to protect yourself from the flu

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Regardless of your track record with the flu, Dr. Ofonime Essien with Columbia St. Mary's cautions that this year it is especially important to get the influenza vaccine.

“This year is unpredictable,” said Dr. Essien, ‘If you’re not doing it for yourself, do it for the next person-it could be your child it could be your neighbor or it could be your colleagues.”

Getting the vaccine isn’t a 100 percent guarantee you won't get sick, but Dr. Essien says prevention is still the best way. Once you get the virus you can only treat the symptoms, which include coughing, fatigue and nausea, and those could hang around for days or even weeks.

Dr. Essien says it's especially important for the elderly and children to get vaccinated. Although he knows it’s not always easy to give a child a shot. He says there is another option -- and that’s with a nasal spray, but he says that is the live virus, as opposed to the shot which injects the patient with the dead virus.

“A lot of patients say if I get the vaccination I'll get sick. I hear that almost every time in the clinic,” explained Dr. Essien. But he said while the shot might make you tired, or feel not quite yourself it won't give you the flu.