WHO: Overland Park Regional Medical Center

WHAT: Annual Flu Clinic

WHEN: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 while supplies last!

WHERE: Overland Park Regional Medical Center Main Lobby, 10500 Quivira Road, Overland Park, KS.

WHY: An estimated five to 20 percent of the population is burdened with congestion, coughing spells, body aches, fatigue and fever each flu season. As the beginning of flu season approaches, experts recommend a simple flu shot to help prevent the potential dangers, discomfort and stress associated with the flu, and encourage vaccination. Flu season usually runs from October through May, often peaking during January or February. Overland Park Regional Medical Center (OPRMC) provides free flu shots as a community service each fall.

“The flu is a highly contagious virus that usually enters the body through the mouth, nose or eyes,” says Cheryl Hurst, OPRMC director of pharmacy services. “If someone who is infected coughs or sneezes, the virus can become airborne and spread quickly to those in close proximity to them.”

Hurst notes that a flu shot is the best way to avoid getting the flu. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it takes two weeks for the body to build antibodies against the flu, which is why it’s important to get vaccinated early in the season. The most common side effect of a flu shot is stiffness around the injection area.