IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO GET FLU VACCINE!
Remember that flu season usually peaks in February or even later, and lasts into the spring. So, although it’s a good idea to get flu vaccine as soon as it’s available, which is usually in the fall, it is NOT too late to get vaccine protection.
Influenza can be a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Anyone can get sick from the flu.
According to the CDC, each year in the US on average, an estimated 5-20 percent of the population can be infected with the flu, and more than 200,000 people may be hospitalized during the flu season. Also, it is not possible to predict how mild or severe this flu season will be.
So, why take chances with your health, your family’s health and the health of people around you? Get flu vaccine, and make sure your family gets it, too.
On the right side of this web page, there are links to resources to help find flu vaccine in your area, as well as to more information about flu and flu vaccine.
Is It A Cold or The Flu? See this handy guide from the National Institutes of Health for helpful information!
THE FLU ENDS WITH YOU!
Flu season comes every year, and every year, people get sick because they didn't get flu vaccine. Local health officials, the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a simple message this flu season: The Flu Ends With You!
Flu is a contagious respiratory disease and can make event the healthiest people very sick. In some, flu can cause complications like pneumonia. It can aggravate existing heart, lung and other health problems. It can even be deadly.
It's up to each of us to protect ourselves. And the best way to protect against the flu is to get flu vaccine. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get it. Some children 6 months through 8 years of age require 2 doses of influenza vaccine. Children in this age group who are getting vaccinated for the first time will need two doses. Some children who have received influenza vaccine previously will also need two doses. Your child’s health care provider can tell you whether two doses are recommended for your child.
There is plenty of flu vaccine available in the community: doctors offices, pharmacies, retail stores, grocery stores and others are offering flu vaccine right now. Many locations offering flu vaccine don't require appointments--all you need to do is walk in during operating hours.
The County of San Diego HHSA operates a number of flu vaccine clinics around the County. Please click here for a list of these clinics. Persons 6 months of age and older are eligible to get vaccine. Other organizations will be offering flu vaccine in the coming days and weeks as well.
It's clear that vaccine is readily available and easy to find. The next step is up to you. When you get flu vaccine, you reduce your chance of getting the flu, and also of passing it to others. So, the flu really does end with you!
Heart Disease & the Flu
Heart disease can make your body too weak to fight off the flu. And the flu can make your heart disease worse. Learn more at FLU.GOV...
New Ways To Promote Flu Immunization
According to this article, local health departments and other authorities are trying new messages and methods to persuade people to get immunized against influenza. In Florida, the Department of Health’s imaginative campaign is called The Fifth Guy. This refers to the estimated 1 in 5 people who don’t wash their hands, an excellent way to help protect against spreading diseases like flu. Click on the links above for more information!
WASH YOUR HANDS!
In addition to getting flu vaccine, there's a step you can take to reduce your chances of getting and spreading the flu: handwashing! In fact, washing your hands often is a good way to protect your health all year long, not just during flu season. Many everyday objects and surfaces we touch have lots of germs on them, and if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth after touching them, you can expose yourself to all sorts of germs.
When you wash your hands, use plenty of soap and warm water and wash for at least 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice).
Here's a video about why it's important to wash your hands, and wash them often..
IS IT A COLD OR THE FLU? (adapted from a message from FLU.GOV)
As winter approaches, more and more people start to feel like they’re coming down with “something.” Flu season is here. How do you know if you have the flu or the common cold?
Both have similar symptoms, so it can be hard to tell the difference.
In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.
Your health care provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have the flu.
If you have been diagnosed with the flu, you should stay home. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about over-the-counter and prescription medications to ease flu symptoms and help you feel better faster.
And remember, the best protection against the flu is the flu vaccine.
Video: What is seasonal flu?
Video: What are the symptoms of the flu?
Everybody can do their part to help prevent the spread of germs and protect themselves from the flu. Follow Flu.Gov on Twitter (@FluGov) for a different flu tip each Friday (#FluTips).