That’s because—stay with us here—there are four different types of the flu: influenza A, B, C, and D. Influenza A and influenza B cause the seasonal epidemics we’ve come to expect in the fall and winter, and there are different strains of each. When you get sick from one particular strain of flu virus, your body develops an immune response that will protect you from getting re-infected with the very same bug. “Your likelihood of getting the same flu again is lower,” explains Denise Pate, MD, internal medicine physician with Medical Offices of Manhattan. “However, you can become infected with a different strain, and the antibodies you formed from the first bout are not providing protection.”
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: It’s not too late to get your flu shot. That applies even if you already had the flu once this season. “Despite getting the flu, you are still eligible and should get the flu vaccine,” Dr. Pate says. “This will provide added protection against the strain of the flu you had, in addition to protecting you from the other strains of influenza that are circulating.”
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