In light of a flu death reported earlier this season in Stanislaus County, health officials are reminding residents that it’s not too late to get a flu shot to help protect yourself and your family.
Every year, flu spreads across the country from person-to-person, among families, and communities. Flu illnesses can range from mild to severe. Flu-related issues can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death. The symptoms of flu can come on suddenly, and may include fever, chills, headache, fatigue and/or body aches, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and, sometimes, diarrhea and vomiting.
People experiencing flu-like symptoms should call their health care provider if their symptoms are serious or if there is trouble breathing, if they are pregnant, or have underlying medical conditions.
“This is a very sad reminder that flu is unpredictable and can be deadly,” Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Stanislaus County Public Health Officer, noted of the late December death of a child due to the flu. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the child’s family and hope we can help people understand that flu is a serious illness. Flu vaccination is the most effective protection against flu, and it’s still not too late to get a flu shot.”
Stanislaus County Public Health encourages residents to take the following actions to fight the flu:
Take time to get a flu shot for yourself and your family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu shot for everyone six months of age or older. Flu shots are still available at many places, including doctors’ offices, local health department clinics, and community settings as well as most pharmacies. Check with your healthcare provider to decide which form of the shot is the best option for you.
Take everyday actions to stop germs by: avoiding close contact with sick people, washing your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, cover your coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may have germs, and, if you become sick, limit contact with others.
Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness. Antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia. It is very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat people who are sick with the flu and have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications because of their age or a high risk medical condition.
For more information about flu and flu shots, please visit http://www.stanemergency.org/diseases/coldsflu/ and https://vaccinefinder.org, respectively.