Stay Healthy for the Holidays-Get a Flu Shot

Mon December 4, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DUPAGE COUNTY­­- From December 3-9, 2017, the DuPage County Health Department is observing National Influenza Vaccination Week, reminding anyone 6 months and older who has not yet received influenza (flu) vaccine this season that it's not too late to get vaccinated. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this potentially serious disease.

Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.

Despite the unpredictable nature of the flu, you should get the 2017-18 flu vaccine for optimal protection against the flu this season, because flu viruses are constantly changing. This season's vaccines have been updated to protect against the viruses that surveillance data indicate will be most common this flu season. 

Getting vaccinated yourself protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions. 

While seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, flu activity is usually highest between December and February, though activity can last as late as May.

As long as flu viruses are circulating, it's not too late to get vaccinated. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection.

Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

In addition to getting a flu shot, take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs:

· Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

· Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

· If you are sick with flu-like illness, you should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) except to get medical care.

· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

Influenza antiviral drugs can be a second line of defense for treatment of some who get sick with flu and can lessen the duration and severity of symptoms.

With flu activity increasing and family and friends planning gatherings for the holidays, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine if you haven't been vaccinated yet this season. A flu vaccine can protect you and your loved ones from the flu.

Use the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to find a location that offers the flu vaccine.

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