This article was contributed by San Benito County Public Health Services.
San Benito County Public Health Services urges residents to get the influenza (flu) vaccine ahead of the arrival of influenza season and will host a free vaccination clinic Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Flu season usually begins to increase in late November or December. It takes a couple of weeks after vaccination for the body to respond fully, so now is the time to get vaccinated to have the best protection before the flu season begins.
"Getting vaccinated is the best protection against flu illness," said Dr. Gail Newel, health officer with San Benito County Public Health Services. "You can prevent missing work or school, visits to the doctor or hospitalizations, and protect others from coming down with the flu."
A person with flu may be contagious and infect others before they even feel sick.
Each year, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and, sometimes, thousands or tens of thousands of deaths in the United States, a recent public health press release said. Last winter’s flu season resulted in the deaths of 80,000 Americans, with 900,000 hospital admissions.
To reduce this risk, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends the annual flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older. While anyone can get flu, pregnant women, children under five, adults 65 years of age and older, and people with chronic conditions such as heart disease and asthma are particularly at risk for flu-related complications. Flu shots are needed every year to maintain the greatest protection because the vaccine changes each season to match the circulating viruses.
Common symptoms of the flu include fever or feeling feverish, a cough and/or sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, chills, fatigue and body aches. Children may also have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
To stop the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses, you should also:
- Stay home while sick and limit contact with others
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or disposable tissue
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
San Benito County Public Health Services encourages residents to contact their health care provider, physician’s office, clinic or pharmacy about obtaining the flu vaccine.
In addition, Public Health Services will be conducting a free Flu Vaccination Clinic at Veterans Memorial Building, located at 649 San Benito Street in Hollister, on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
For more information regarding the flu, please call Public Health Services at (831) 637-5367 or go to our website at http://hhsa.cosb.us/.
Become a Member Today
Support your local independent news.
We work hard to give you the news and information you need. By becoming a member, you will be part of something bigger; BenitoLink, your community-supported news source.
Add Facebook comment
Comment using your Facebook account. Facebook comments will be published on this page, and on Facebook. It will not be posted to the "Recent Comments" list on the BenitoLink front page.