In honor of National Influenza Vaccination Week, observed December 2-8, 2018, Public Health Services reminds you of the importance of getting the influenza (flu) vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming ill.
“Getting vaccinated is the best protection against flu illness,” said Dr. Gail Newel, Health Officer, San Benito County Public Health Services. “You can enjoy a healthy holiday season and protect others from coming down with the flu by getting vaccinated.”
Each year, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and, sometimes, thousands or tens of thousands of deaths in the United States. Last winter’s flu season resulted in the deaths of 80,000 Americans, with 900,000 hospital admissions.
To reduce this risk, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends the annual flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older. While anyone can get flu, pregnant women, children under five, adults 65 years of age and older, and people with chronic conditions such as heart disease and asthma are particularly at risk for flu-related complications. Flu shots are needed every year to maintain the greatest protection because the vaccine changes each season to match the circulating viruses.
Common symptoms of the flu include fever or feeling feverish, a cough and/or sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, chills, fatigue and body aches. Children may also have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
To stop the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses, you should also:
- Stay home while sick and limit contact with others
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or disposable tissue
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Public Health Services encourages residents to contact their health care provider, physician’s office, clinic or pharmacy about obtaining the flu vaccine.
For more information regarding the flu, please call Public Health Services at (831) 637-5367 or go to our website at http://hhsa.cosb.us/.
Public Health Services wishes all a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!