OCEAN COUNTY – The Ocean County Health Department is reminding everyone that it’s not too late to get your flu vaccine. With flu activity on the rise, officials expect higher levels than normal at this point in the flu season.
“The Ocean County Health Department can’t stress enough how important getting a flu shot can be to you and your family, friends, school mates and co-workers. Remember, the flu vaccine not only protects you from getting ill, but it can also protect all the people you come in contact with,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “The more people vaccinated means the fewer people getting sick and spreading the bug.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there have been at least 6.4 million flu illnesses and 2,900 deaths during the current flu season. Health care providers are urged to explain to patients that the flu vaccine does save lives and is the best protection against getting the flu and its potentially serious complications.
“While it’s imperative for individuals with chronic diseases, children, pregnant women, and older adults to get vaccinated, others shouldn’t hope to “sneak by” this flu season without getting sick,” said Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator. “Don’t risk it – protect yourself and others by getting the vaccine as soon as possible.”
Flu viruses are spread through respiratory droplets that are expelled when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes or talks. Another form of transmission may happen when someone touches a contaminated surface or object.
“Simple hand washing is extremely effective when it comes to reducing the spread of the influenza virus. Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer as often as possible,” Regenye added.
Symptoms of flu usually last only a few days and may include: fever, cough, sore throat, headaches, chills, muscle aches and fatigue. If you do get sick you should stay home until your better.
For more information, visit the OCHD website at ochd.org.