Our powerful winter storms are proof we still are in the heart of flu season. Public Health is reminding people that it is not too late to get a flu vaccine now, if they haven’t received one, to help protect themselves and those around them. Even though it takes two weeks or more for the vaccine to take full effect, flu season often peaks in California in February and March, with cases in April and beyond not uncommon, so there is plenty of time to benefit from a vaccination. Vaccine is available through your primary medical provider, many grocery and drug stores and at Public Health.
In addition to the flu vaccine, which is the best way to prevent flu, it is always important to:
- Wash hands often and use hand sanitizer.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- If you are sick, especially coughing, do not go to school or work.
The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, headache, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; purple or blue discoloration of the lips; pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; sudden dizziness or confusion; severe or persistent vomiting; seizures; or flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough. If your medical provider diagnoses influenza, ask whether influenza anti-viral medication is appropriate for you. These medications are most effective when started within 48 hours from the onset of influenza symptoms.
For more information go to www.shastaflushots.com, or call Public Health at 530-225-5591 or 1-800-971-1999.
# # #