National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 7-13)
The holiday season is upon us, and unfortunately so is influenza season…
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a serious and contagious illness that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Not to be confused with the stomach virus that’s sometimes referred to as the stomach flu, common flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some may also experience vomiting or diarrhea.
How it Spreads
The flu virus spreads from person to person, and, according to the CDC, it can be spread from up to six feet away through coughing, sneezing, or talking. Most adults can infect other people beginning one day before flu symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days.
Because it’s so contagious, those who are sick with influenza are asked to stay home, and those around sick people needs to wash hands frequently and keep their distance.
Who’s at Risk?
Anyone can get sick from the flu, but certain people are at a greater risk for serious complications.This includes:
- Children under 5
- Adults over 65
- Pregnant women
- Individuals with compromised immune systems
In the United States, thousands of healthy adults and children see a doctor or are hospitalized from flu complications each year. During the 2012-2013 flu season, the estimated number of influenza-associated illnesses prevented by flu vaccination was 6.6 million, the population of the state of Arizona! (CDC.gov)
How to Protect Yourself
The best way to protect yourself and your family from influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year. December 7-13 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. Celebrate this holiday season by staying healthy and protecting yourself and loved ones from influenza. There’s no better time than now to get your flu shot.
Flu vaccinations are available at Gallatin City-County Health Department. Call 582-3100 to schedule an appointment.
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