(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) As the winter months approach, its time to start thinking about flu season.
"The outbreak is occurring in Missouri, all around us," Dr. Rachel Lessor, DNP, Nurse Practitioner at Northwest Health Services, said.
Dr. Lessor said they’re already starting to see the first cases.
"Most patients that come in have not had their flu shot yet," Lessor said.
Those doctors say when it comes to getting those flu shots, they find that some of their patients come up with reasons to skip it.
"[Patients say they've] heard a story out there where one of their friends or loved ones has gotten sick after the flu," Lessor said.
Lessor said the most common side effect from getting the influenza vaccine is a small reaction at the injection site.
Lessor said another reason people avoid the vaccine is that they feel their chances of getting it are slim. She wants her patients to know that no one is immune.
"All ages can get influenza," Lessor said. "Even those in their 20s through 40s can get it as well."
Lessor said it's important to stay current on vaccines every year so patients are fully protected
"There are new strains developing all the time," Lessor said. "The current vaccine is to vaccinate and protect us against the most common current strains."
Dr. Lessor also adds that flu symptoms can last for up to a week if patients don't get the flu vaccine.