For Immediate ReleaseOctober 02, 2017
Bay Area Health Officials Announce Start of Influenza Season and Steps For Protection
San Rafael, CA. – Because the flu is unpredictable and the vaccine takes up to two weeks to become fully effective, Marin County health officials urge everyone six months and older to get vaccinated early in the season. It’s important to get vaccinated prior to the circulation of influenza in your community. Ensuring timely flu shots can prevent a disease that hospitalizes 200,000 Americans every year.
The vaccine keeps individuals protected for many months, but not forever. Also the strains of influenza change over time, so it’s important to get vaccinated every year. While everyone six months and older should get vaccinated, it is especially important for pregnant women, children younger than five, adults 65 and older, and those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes.
In addition to getting the vaccine, health officials advise individuals to take the following steps to protect themselves and loved ones from influenza.
Beyond individual actions, there are many things communities can do fight the flu. Community mitigation strategies such as regular cleaning of doorknobs and surfaces can help keep schools and workplaces germ free and help stop the spread of the flu.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. People at higher risk of severe disease who show flu symptoms should contact their medical provider. Medical providers may prescribe antiviral medications that reduce the severity and duration of illness. Antibiotics are not effective against the flu.
Residents are encouraged to contact their health care provider to get their flu shot. The vaccine is also available at pharmacies, retail stores, and is offered by some employers. Marin County Health and Human Services a is doing targeted flu vaccination outreach to uninsured and underinsured populations.
For more information about influenza visit marinflu.org or the CDPH influenza web page. To find a flu vaccine at a location near you, visit marinflu.org or the Vaccine Finder.
Dr. Lisa SantoraDeputy Public Health OfficerHealth and Human Services
3240 Kerner Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94901(415) 473-4163Email: Dr. Lisa SantoraMarin HHS website