MONTGOMERY, AL – The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) encourages annual influenza vaccination of all persons 6 months of age and older as the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially serious complications. Among its many benefits are reducing the risk of flu illness, doctors’ visits, hospitalization and even death.
For the upcoming 2018-2019 influenza season, there is updated flu vaccine and many vaccine options, including nasal spray vaccine. The public is encouraged to get vaccinated by the end of October. Flu circulates year round and peak activity usually occurs between December and February, but could start earlier or extend later. In the 2017-2018 flu season, there was widespread activity for three months, which was longer than usual. As of October 27, 2018, a total of 185 pediatric deaths for the 2017-2018 season have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with approximately 80 percent of these deaths occurring in children who did not receive a flu shot for the season.
Precautions are as follows:
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.
Contact your private physician or your local county health department for a flu clinic schedule. For more information, visit alabamapublichealth.gov/immunization/flu-and-pneu-vaccines.html, or contact the ADPH Immunization Division at (334) 206-5023 or toll free at 800-469-4599. Flu shots may also be available at pharmacies.
SOURCE: news provided by MEDIA.ALABAMA.GOV