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Influenza Season 2017-18

National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 3-9
National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is an observance meant to remind all of us about the importance of getting flu vaccine, and that December or later is not too late to get it.

It's important to remember that flu season often peaks in January or February, and the season can last through spring. That means that there is ample time to get exposed to flu, which can make people very ill. Some end up in the hospital, and the flu can even be fatal. So far this year in San Diego county, four people have died from flu and its complications.

But the good news is that flu is preventable, and one of the best ways to protect yourself against it is to get immunized. And, because the flu is so contagious, by protecting yourself you're also protecting those around you.

Give yourself (and those around you) the gift of health. Get flu vaccine.

It's not too late to get a flu shot! 

Flu Cases Higher Than Expected in San Diego
The number of lab-confirmed, influenza cases continues to be elevated for this time of year, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today (Dec. 13).

A total of 1,092 cases have been reported this season, more than three times the 304 cases reported at the same time last year.

“It’s important that people get vaccinated to avoid getting sick, especially those at higher risk of developing complications from the disease,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Everyone, six months and older should get a flu shot every year.”

Read more at the County News Center.

Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Not Recommended for 2017-18 Flu Season
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend the nasal spray flu vaccine (also known as Live, Attenuated Influenza Vaccine) be used during this flu season due to concerns about its effectiveness. However, everyone 6 months and older should get the injectable flu vaccine (also known as Inactivated Influenza Vaccine).

Get your family vaccinated. FightFlu  

Don't Believe Flu Myths!
VIsit http://tinyurl.com/no37xzq to see our special Flu Myths web page which debunks some common myths about the flu and flu vaccine.

Getting prepared isn't complicated. Follow these steps:

1) Get flu vaccine. This is the best way to help protect yourself from getting the flu. And tell your family, friends and others around you that they need to get vaccinated, too! Flu vaccine is available in our community now from some private physicians, clinics and other places, like pharmacies. More places will be offering flu vaccine in the coming weeks and months.

2) Cover your coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue or your arm.

3) Wash your hands often, with plenty of soap and warm water.

4) Stay away from sick people whenever possible.

5) Stay home when you're sick.

6) Get enough rest, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.

Influenza can be a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. The flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect against influenza, and is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older, every year.

You need to get flu vaccine every year because vaccine protection wanes over time. Even if you got the vaccine last year, you need it this year. And It is not possible to predict how mild or severe this flu season will be.

Anyone can get sick from the flu. No matter how healthy you are, you can catch the flu. And you may be sick for 2-3 weeks or more, interfering with work, school, other activities and time spent with family and friends.

Learn what to do about the flu and why people 65 years and older are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu.

Even if you get a mild case of the flu, you can still spread it to other people. Like your family, friends and co-workers. And some of the people you could spread the flu to may be at risk of serious complications if they get the flu.

Who is at High Risk of Complications From Flu?

  • Children,
  • Seniors,
  • Pregnant women, and
  • Those with heart conditions, asthma, diabetes, immune system disorders and certain other health problems.

If these people get the flu, they are more likely to get seriously ill with complications like pneumonia and need hospitalization. In addition, their chances of dying from flu-related complications are higher than other people.

Also, people at high risk for flu-related complications should contact their doctor immediately if they start to develop flu-like symptoms so that they can be evaluated for antiviral drugs, which work best if given within 48 hours after symptoms appear.

Pregnant Women Need Flu Vaccine!

Pregnant women face special health problems from flu. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women more prone to severe illness from flu as well as hospitalizations and even death. Pregnant woman with flu also have a greater chance for serious problems for their unborn baby, including premature labor and delivery.

Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step pregnant women can take to protect against the flu. The flu shot given during pregnancy has been shown to protect both the mother and her baby (up to 6 months old) from flu. (The nasal spray vaccine should not be given to women who are pregnant.)

If you are pregnant, flu vaccincation is especially important for you and your baby.

The flu shot is safe for pregnant women. It has been given to millions of pregnant women over many years. Flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies.

Don't take chances with your health, your family’s health and the health of everyone around you. Get flu vaccine, and make sure your family gets it, too.

Don't let these myths fool you into skipping the flu vaccine:

MYTH: The flu shot gives you the flu.
No, it can't. The influenza viruses in the shot are inactive and not infectious.

MYTH: The flu shot doesn't work..
Yes, it does. Many years of research and experience show that flu vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu.

MYTH: I don't get sick. It's not likely you've been never been sick in your entire life. But even if you're healthy, that doesn't mean you'll never get sick. Why take chances with the flu?

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).

Why is handwashing important? Watch this video..


Learn about Who Needs A Flu Vaccine.



Influenza vaccine clinic informations is listed here as information becomes available.

Flu Shot Clinics in North County
Click here for a list of some flu shot clinics in North County.

Weekly Summary

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency’s Epidemiology and Immunization Services Branch (EISB), works with the local medical community to summarize influenza activity here in our county. Click here or on the title above to read the latest issue of Influenza Watch.

Stay Connected With The Latest CDC Influenza Info!
You can stay connected with the latest tweets, Facebook posts and other influenza content with the links below:

CDC Flu Twitter Feed

CDC Facebook Page

Flu Videos on YouTube

Email Updates

News Feeds

Frequently Asked Questions About The 2017-18 Influenza Season
What kinds of flu vaccines will be available this season? What flu viruses do the vaccines protect against? This informative web page has the answers to those questions, and a lot more!

Key Facts About Influenza (Flu) & Flu Vaccine
Flu & Flu Vaccine Basics from the CDC.

The Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick
If you think you may have the flu, please see this web page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC Says Take 3 Actions To Fight The Flu
Help protect yourself with these three actions.

Are You At High Risk For Flu-Related Complications? See this page on the CDC Website.