National Influenza Vaccination Week – December 4-10, 2016
Public Health Officials across Northern Illinois, encourage individuals to get vaccinated against influenza during National Influenza Vaccination Week December 4-10.
“Now is a great time to get your flu vaccine,” said Lisa Gonzalez. “National Influenza Vaccination Week serves as a reminder that there is still time to protect yourself and your family against influenza.” With flu activity increasing and family and friends planning gatherings for the holidays, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine if you haven’t been vaccinated yet this season. “Getting vaccinated is the single best way for people to protect not only themselves against the flu, but their loved ones as well,” added Gonzalez.
Everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated against influenza, including parents with children at home, teens, college students, adults, grandparents who take care of grandchildren and in particular pregnant women, young children, people 65 years of age and older, and anyone with underlying health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or a weakened immune system. A flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are constantly changing.
People with the flu can spread it to others from as far away as 6 feet. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets produced when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has a flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot because the vaccine consists of an inactive virus that helps to stimulate the body’s defense systems to fight off “real” viruses when you come in contact with those viruses.
In addition to getting a flu shot, it is recommended to follow the 3 C’s: clean, cover and contain.
• Clean – frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water.
• Cover – cover your cough and sneeze.
• Contain – contain your germs by staying home if you are sick.
For more information on influenza and where you may get a vaccination, visit DeKalb County Health Department’s website. You can also like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.