For Immediate Release
September 16, 2016; 2:30pm
DPHSS Release No. 2016-076
Prevent the spread of Influenza (Flu)
The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) would like to remind everyone that the influenza or flu season is once again upon us and encourages all to take precautions and be proactive to prevent the spread of flu.
What is Influenza (Flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
Signs and Symptoms of the Flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Fatigue (very tired)
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children that adults.
How is Flu spread?
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Theses droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.
What should I do to protect myself and my family from the flu?
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting the flu vaccine each year. More importantly you can take everyday precautions like staying away from sick people, washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs, use disposable tissue to cover your cough and sneeze. If you or a family member is sick, you may want to stay home from work or school to prevent spreading the flu to others.
Who should receive the flu vaccine?
Because the flu viruses circulating in the community frequently change, everyone should get their annual flu shot as soon as it is available. This is especially important for persons at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications including children younger than 2 years of age, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and individuals with certain medical conditions such as persons with diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, kidney or liver disorders, those residing in long term care facilities, cancer patients, and those with weakened immune system caused by HIV or AIDS.
REMEMBER that the power to stop the flu starts with you! For more information, speak with your health care provider, visit www.cdc.gov/flu, or call the DPHSS Immunization Program at 735-7143.