Flu can take you by surprise: are you ready?

SIMCOE MUSKOKA — You’ve probably got it or know somebody who has.

‘Tis the season for coughs, colds, wheezing and sneezing, remind Bugs and Daffy. So take precautions.

And good luck to you both.

Debilitating colds with sneezing and running noses are a start to a full-fledged, onset of the flu season.

Which looks pretty severe so far.

So, if you haven’t gotten your flu shot …. Do it ASAP.

With Christmas next week and New Year’s Day a week later, that’s the prime time for people to be catching winter bugs like influenza, says the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit in a pre-holiday dispatch.

Their surveillance is showing just a few lab-confirmed cases of influenza per week so far this year — a fairly typical start to flu season.

But the end of December and early January often see a rise in cases as people gather with family and friends, spreading illness as well as good cheer.

Wash your hands and be careful what you touch – and don’t touch around your nose and mouth without clean hands, a tissue.

And remember to use your forearm to cover coughs and sneezes.

The good news is that the strains of flu circulating at this time seem to be a good match with the vaccines available.

It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to reach its best protection, so if you haven’t had the shot yet, this is a good time to get the family immunized. Flu vaccines are available at most local pharmacies as well as from your health care provider.

For more information about influenza, and weekly bulletins about flu in our region, visitwww.simcoemuskokahealth.org/flunews.