COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — With fall just around the corner, cold and flu season is upon us.  Medical professionals are urging all of us to take the necessary steps to prevent illness. 

Cold and flu seasons starts early fall until spring. The demographics that are most susceptible include children, the elderly over the age of 50 and individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Influenza can cause side effects such as high fever, body aches, dry cough, extreme fatigue, and even death.  

Daryl Ellis, a physician at Piedmont River Chase, says the occasional cough or runny nose will become more common as it gets colder — however, vaccines are the best way to prevent yourself from getting sick.   

Dr. Ellis went on to provide WRBL with more information about why vaccination is a key component in prevention.

“Each year it’s required, if you will, or requested that you get a flu vaccine. They generate a new vaccine each year based upon what strain of influenza shows up in China in the summertime. That gives us an idea of what’s coming our way, and then they go ahead and make the appropriate vaccination. So that we can be protected as we enter into our flu season,” stated Dr. Ellis.  

Preventing exposure can also be done by handwashing, social distancing, and wearing a mask. These are all habits that if practiced daily will reduce exposure this cold and flu season.