Still time and a good idea to get a Flu Shot
It is not too late to get your flu shot.
We are receiving high prevalence reports of influenza-like illness (ILI) in Indiana. There are a reported 45 influenza-associated deaths in Indiana as of January 31, 2020. Also, across Indiana, there have been 4 school-wide outbreaks this season. The Dubois County Health Department has had only one (1) school called to notify that their percentage of students absent from school was equal to 20% of their enrolled students. Per 512 Indiana Administrative Code 1-2-2, public and accredited nonpublic schools are required to report to the local health department and the state attendance officer of the Department of Education the percentage of student absences when the percentage of students absent from a school is equal of greater than 20% of the enrolled students. There has been 9 long-term care facility outbreaks this season state-wide. We have a 87% of influenza specimens collected were tested positive for the flu at the ISDH laboratory.
By far, the single best way to prevent the flu is for individuals to get a vaccination. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine. No prescription is required, and no appointment is necessary. Additional late-night walk-in clinics will be held 4-6 pm on the Wednesdays of February 5th and March 4th.
Why get vaccinated? Flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Anyone can get the flu, but it is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greater risk of flu complications. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. For those with weakened immune systems, may not be able to fight the flu and may need hospitalized for treatment.
Other ways to prevent spread of disease is to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick. Get plenty of rest.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Consider wearing a mask.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.