Health Department Urges People To Get A Flu Shot
FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) —
How can you make sure you are staying safe from the flu?
According to the Department of Health in Fresno County, the best prevention is the flu vaccination.
It costs six dollars and officials say it could save your life.
"Flu season has arrived. People are getting sick. We have had seven hospitalizations which is higher than we have seen in the last five years. So this is a reminder that you need to take flu seriously," said David Luchini from the Department of Health.
So what exactly should you watch out for?
According to the Health Department, symptoms include a fever over 100 degrees, sore throat, and cough.
In some cases, people may experience body aches.
In children, parents should also watch out for vomiting and diarrhea.
But officials say even the flu has types.
"This year H1N1 is the most common strain. Last year it was H3N2. Now what we saw last year with H3N2, the older populations were more at risk," said Luchini.
But this year, with the H1N1, those under 65-years of age are more at risk.
The Health Department says the shot protects against the current circulating strain including the H1N1.
But if needles are not your thing, the Nasal Mist may be an option for you.
Officials say candidates must be between 2 to 49-years of age.
They must also pass a serious of health questions.
However not everyone is getting in line for the shot.
Some people argue that getting the flu shot can increase their chances of getting sick.
"Most vaccines are a dead virus. You cannot get influenza from the vaccine," said Luchini.
And if you are already sick, the Health Department offers one very important piece of advice.
"Stay home! People forget, they get a fever, then get a cough, and say oh I got to go to work. Or I got to send my kid to school. Well guess what now you are exposing other people and so it is really important that you stay home," said Luchini.
Doctors say it is also very important to wash your hands regularly for at least 15-20 seconds.
It is recommended that you use an antibacterial soap, and scrub thoroughly, especially under nails where bacteria can build up.
The Department of Health says a person's immunity to the flu virus may drop as much as 50% within 6-12 months after receiving the vaccine.
The department encourages that everyone at least six months or older get the flu shot once a year.