November 30, 2012
Not Too Late to Benefit from Flu Vaccine
Many people at high risk still unprotected
Citing a recent report by the New York State Department of Health declaring a sharp rise in the number of flu cases in 34 counties in New York State, including Suffolk County, Dr. James Tomarken, Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, is urging all residents who have not yet received their annual flu vaccinations to do so as soon as possible. Flu season usually peaks in January or later and can last as late as May.
“Influenza is a serious disease that should be treated as such,” said Dr. Tomarken. “Most people who become infected with the flu will suffer with fever, congestion, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches over the course of a week or two and will eventually recover completely. However, some are at greater risk for serious complications that can lead to hospitalization or even death. The good news is that immunization can protect us from the flu.”
Individuals who are particularly vulnerable are mature adults over 65 years of age, young children, pregnant women, those with diabetes, heart disease, neurological conditions, or chronic lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), and those who are severely obese persons. The most important thing these individuals and their loved ones can do to protect against influenza is to get a flu vaccine each flu season.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that children six months of age and older should be immunized against influenza. Children under age nine may need to return for a second dose of immunization.
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors’ offices, clinics, local health centers, pharmacies, college health centers and places of business. Contact your health care provider today for your flu vaccine.
National Influenza Vaccination Week runs from December 2 through December 8, 2012. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov. For flu-related questions contact FluInbox@cdc.gov.