Modified: December 3, 2018 11:35am
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date: October 8, 2018
Phone: (716) 858-2890
ERIE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: GET YOUR FLU VACCINATION
Reminder comes as National Influenza Vaccination Week is recognized across the country
ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is urging all Erie County residents to get a flu vaccination, reminding everyone of this simple, safe and effective measure as the entire country recognizes December 2 through December 8 as National Influenza Vaccination Week.
“The single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get vaccinated,” said Erie County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. “There has already been one childhood flu related death in New York State. Flu vaccination and hand washing are the most effective strategy to prevent flu.”
Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot as soon as possible. The vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to help with decreasing their risk of suffering from severe flu illness. Those who are high risk of severe flu illness include young children, women who are pregnant, anyone age 65 and older, and people with specific chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, as well as anyone who has a compromised immune system.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 900,000 people were hospitalized and an estimated 80,000 people died from the flu, statistics that emphasize the seriousness and severity that the flu illness can have.
“Those numbers are staggering and serve as a strong reminder of the importance of getting your flu vaccination,” said Dr. Burstein. “Flu vaccines are safe and effective and are currently available, so no one should have any excuse to avoid a flu vaccine this week. Please take to your health care provider or pharmacist about scheduling a flu vaccination for yourself and make sure other family members are also making the necessary arrangements to get their own flu shots.”
The influenza season normally runs from October to May. As a contagious respiratory illness that is spread through the air and by direct contact, the flu can usually be identified by typical symptoms, including sudden fever, aching muscles, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, headache, and eye pain. The illness is especially dangerous to infants, elderly people and people of any age with chronic medical conditions.
In addition to receiving a flu vaccine, people are advised to take everyday preventive actions can help to stop the spread of germs, including:
- Teaching children how to properly wash their hands
- Trying to avoid close contact with sick people
- If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to prevent spreading infection
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Throw all soiled tissues in the trash after you use it
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth--germs spread this way
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu
- If you are sick with flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to receive medical care or obtain other necessities
For more information:
Visit the Erie County Department of Health website at www.erie.gov/health
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