The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is currently reporting widespread influenza activity in Illinois which is constant with the nation. It’s not too late to vaccinate. Getting vaccinated now can help protect you from the flu in the coming months. Flu activity typically peaks in January, but can run into April.
Jane Lux, Public Health Administrator, is encouraging residents 6 months of age and older to get a flu shot to protect themselves and their families for the rest of the flu season. “Getting a flu shot is the best defense against the flu. It is also important to limit the spread of influenza and other contagious diseases by practicing the 3Cs.”
Clean – properly wash hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This is the simplest way to prevent the transmission of cold and flu viruses.
Cover – cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow. If you use a tissue, throw it out.
Contain – stay home if you are sick.
It takes about two weeks after receiving the vaccine for antibodies to build up in the body, so it is important to get the vaccine as soon as possible. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Complications of the flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes. Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000.
DeKalb County Health Department walk-in flu clinics are open every day for anyone age 6 months of age and older. Shots will be given between the hours 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please note that a parent or guardian must accompany children under the age of 18. In addition, appointments for flu and other immunizations for children who are income-eligible for the Vaccine for Children program may be made by calling 815-748-2460. Appointments for additional adult vaccines are also available by calling 815-748-2467. For further information visit: health.dekalbcounty.org.