Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Flu Reports Increase: It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate

Sutter Creek, CA – Flu cases are increasing across the United States. California counties have reported an increase in influenza cases requiring hospitalization with reports of critical cases - many of them between the ages of 30 and 65.

“H1N1 virus is circulating and it is not only dangerous for the elderly, infants or people with medical conditions, but it could affect healthy, young adults as well,” says Dr. Bob Hartmann, Amador County
Health Officer. “Vaccination is your best protection again the flu.”

Amador County Public Health recommends that everyone receive their seasonal flu vaccine if they have not already received it this season. Public Health clinics are held the first and third Tuesdays from 2 pm to 5:30 pm. The next clinic will be held January 7th, 2014. The cost for flu vaccination is $20. Private providers, clinics and local pharmacies may also still have a supply of flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all people aged 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine yearly.

Flu prevention measures are also important. Key recommendations are:
(1) Wash your hands often with warm soapy water for at least 30 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizers.
(2) Cover your cough and your sneeze. If you cough or sneeze into a tissue, throw it away and then wash your hands.
(3) Stay home if you are sick. Wait until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to work or school. Although medication to reduce fevers can make people feel better, they are still contagious and can spread the virus to others. Antibiotics are not effective in treating a virus.

Flu symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees or higher AND a cough or sore throat. Headache, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea could also be present.

For more information on flu prevention, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm or contact Amador County Public Health at 223-6407.

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