Submitted by San Juan County
Flu activity and hospital visits for flu-like symptoms are rapidly increasing in Washington. “While flu cases are on the rise in San Juan County, it is still not too late to vaccinate,” says Dr. Frank James, Health Officer for San Juan County. “The influenza vaccine this year appears to be effective, especially against the most common circulating virus and we encourage individuals to get a flu shot to protect against infection – especially for those with an elevated risk of complications, hospitalization and death.”
San Juan County Health and Community Services urges all individuals to cover your cough, wash your hands and stay home from school or work when you are sick with cough, sore throat and/or fever.
Certain people are at high risk of serious flu-related complications – including children younger than 2 years old, people 65 and older, pregnant women, asthmatics, individuals who have had strokes, people who take immunosuppressive medications, all American Indians and Alaska Natives, overweight individuals (BMI greater than 40) and all residents of long-term care facilities.
If you are sick with influenza-like symptoms and are in a high-risk group, early treatment is essential. Starting antiviral medications can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death if the medications are started within 48 hours of onset of symptoms.
Protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated as soon as possible – and by educating yourself, co-workers and family on the importance of getting a flu vaccine. Stay home if you have flu symptoms.
For more information on where to get a flu shot, contact your health care provider or San Juan County Health & Community Services: 360-378-4474.