Flu Questions & Answers

What is the flu?

The flu, or seasonal influenza, is a communicable virus that can transfer by person-to-person contact. A person sick with the flu can spread the virus from up to 6 feet away. Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache

Who should get a flu shot?

Every New Mexican should get their flu shot, but there are some special populations that are strongly encouraged to get a flu shot due to the health risk the virus creates. Those special populations include:

  • People age 65 and older
  • People with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease
  • Young children, especially those under 2 years old
  • Pregnant women and up to 2 weeks postpartum
  • American Indian and Alaska Natives
  • Morbidly obese persons

What are the benefits of getting a flu shot?

There are many benefits to getting a flu shot:

  • Reduces risk of severe illness or flu-associated hospitalization
  • Helps keep at-risk populations, healthcare professionals, essential workers, and our loved ones healthy and safe
  • Reduces stress on our healthcare system

I got a flu shot last year. Why should I get one this year?

Yes. Immunity from a flu shot declines over time, so an annual flu shot provides optimal protection from the flu.

When should I get a flu shot?

As soon as you can. The flu season typically begins in October, and the flu shot typically takes about 2 weeks for antibodies to develop and provide protection from the virus. This is why it is essential to get a flu shot before community spread begins or before you catch the virus itself.

Can a flu shot give me the flu?

No. A flu shot cannot cause a flu illness. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu shots for 50 years without issue.

Where can I get my flu shot?

The New Mexico Department of Health and private providers throughout the state have the flu shot available for New Mexicans. Click here to find your nearest provider.