This time of year, one of the main risks to your health is contracting the flu. At best, the flu can take you away from your day to day activities for a few days to a week. However, in more serious cases, the flu may lead to hospitalization, and put you at risk for additional health complications such as pneumonia. The flu is a virus, which can be passed directly from person to person through touch, such as a simple handshake. Unfortunately, the virus can also live for a short time out of the body. This means that it can even be passed on from touching a surface which has previously even touched by someone carrying the flu virus. Though frequent hand washing is very important, the best way to protect yourself from the flu virus is by receiving a flu vaccine annually. Though the biggest push for vaccination happens early on in the season each year, typically from October through early November, it is not too late! The flu vaccine is still available in many places throughout North Texas. Contact your doctor today to schedule a vaccination appointment, or check your local pharmacy for vaccine availability.