The flu is a very contagious respiratory illness, and the CDC states the best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated each year.
“Every flu season is different, and we recommend you receive a flu vaccine regardless of whether you had one last year,” said State Health Officer Donald Williamson.
“The CDC warns that even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. An annual flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.”
The ADPH especially recommends that the following are at a higher risk for catching the flu: all children between 6 months and 5 years of age, but especially those between 6 months and 2 years of age, adults 50 years of age and older, especially those 65 years and older, adults and children with chronic disorders, pregnant women, children aged 6 months through 18 years on chronic aspirin therapy, residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, persons who are immunosuppressed, health care workers, out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than age 5 and adults 50 years of age and older, people who are morbidly obese (those with a body mass index, or BMI, of 40 or greater).
The ADPH also recommends that anyone else who wishes to reduce the chance of contracting influenza should get a flu shot.
Symptoms of the flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and often extreme fatigue.
Between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the U.S. ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people each year.
Approximately 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older.
The ADPH also recommends that the public follow basic infection control measures to help prevent the spread of the flu. These include covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or cloth when coughing and sneezing, washing hands frequently, and staying at home when sick.
For more information contact the Immunization Division of the Alabama Department of Public Health at (334) 206-5023 or toll free at 800-469-4599.
Contact Aziza Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.