Flu season is almost here. What you need to know

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MADISON, Ala. — Flu season is around the corner. In fact the official start of the season is the beginning of October, and runs through May.  American Family Care Clinic Dr. Wes Bowman said you can protect yourself from the flu by getting vaccinated.

"Anybody six months and older can get it," Dr. Bowman said. He said the virus can be deadly. "It can attack your heart, your lungs, your brain and perhaps other organs," Dr. Bowman said.

He said the symptoms of the flu, aren't fun either. "Some of the symptoms we see are significant fever and body aches," Dr. Bowman said.

He recommends people get the shot at the beginning of the season, but you can technically get it any time. "It takes about two weeks to be fully active in your body and you want to be prepared," Dr. Bowman explained.

He said in years past the nasal spray option has been popular, but studies show it's not effective. He said the shot is the best way to go.

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Madison County resident Terrell Cole has gotten the flu shot every year for the last decade, but will not be getting it this year. He said he still gets sick. "The full blown flu, the aches, congestion, the cold chills, the sweats," Cole explained.

Doctor Bowman said contrary to belief, the vaccination does not give you the flu. He said the flu shot is a precaution to help you fight getting the virus, because sometimes you can still get it.

"The virus can most commonly be spread by saliva, droplets thrown in the air, when you cough or sneeze," Dr. Bowman said.

Dr. Bowman said people with weak immune systems tend to contract the virus more easily. He said kids, pregnant woman and the elderly should definitely get the shot.