Flu Vaccination Time; Protect Yourself and Loved Ones from Influenza

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 From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale Burstein

October 12, 2015                            

CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov

Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925

 Flu Vaccination Time

Protect yourself and loved ones from influenza

ERIE COUNTY, NY—It is officially Fall, and with seasonal reminders such as apples, pumpkins, and Halloween decorations all around, can flu shots be far behind? Erie County residents are strongly encouraged to receive this year’s influenza (“flu”) vaccine as soon as possible in order to build up antibodies to the influenza viruses. 

What exactly is the Flu? Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, which can cause mild to severe illness. 

 It is especially Who should get flu vaccineimportant for certain people at high risk for serious flu complications to get vaccinated.  Those people include:

  • Individuals with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, morbid obesity, and chronic lung disease
  • Women who are pregnant or have recently given birth
  • People 65 years and older
  • Individuals residing in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • People who are immunosuppressed, where their body’s immune system or ability to fight off infection may be impaired
  • People who live with, or care for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications
  • Health care providers
  • Young children, especially those under 2 years of age

Why get a flu vaccine? Influenza can lead to severe respiratory illness requiring hospitalization and in some cases can be fatal. The flu season can last as late as May. Flu vaccines protect against three or four viruses (depending upon the type of vaccine you receive). The flu vaccine is readily available in Erie County physicians’ offices, pharmacies and other community sites. Infographic flu vaccineEarly fall is a great time to protect your children against the flu. Group settings, like classrooms, facilitate virus spread,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health.  “Children are more likely to be infected with the flu than adults. They are contagious for longer periods of time and they are more likely to pass the virus on to others.”

To Stay Healthy Frequent hand-washing is crucial so that illness is not spread from one person to another. Wash your hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet or changing diapers.  Always wash your hands before eating, preparing and handling food. When sneezing or coughing, be sure to turn away from others and use a tissue to cover your mouth or nose. Sneeze into the crook or your arm, rather than into your hands

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