With flu activity increasing across the country, as well as in our area, Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef is encouraging county residents to consider getting a flu vaccination to help prevent the spread of influenza.."Flu season has hit early in our state, but the County’s Health Department stands ready to provide flu vaccinations that can help keep individuals healthy this winter," said Vanderhoef.
“Getting vaccinated is the first and most important step in protecting against the flu and its complications,” said Dr. Joan H. Facelle, Rockland County Commissioner of Health. “Get your flu vaccine now – it’s not too late and there is plenty of flu vaccine available.”
The Rockland County Department of Health can be contacted at (845) 364-2519, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to make an appointment for a vaccination. The County Health Department is offering the flu vaccine free of charge to adults 60 years and older. Patients with Medicare and Medicaid must bring their cards. Those 9 through 59 years of age can receive the vaccine, but will be charged a $25 fee. Bring proof of Rockland County residency such as a driver's license. Individuals should check with their doctor, or visit www.flu.gov to find flu vaccine clinics in the area.
The 2012-2013 flu vaccine will protect against the three flu viruses that experts predicted will be the most common during this year's flu season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu every year. The flu vaccine offers protection for you for the rest of the flu season.
Besides getting your flu vaccine, individuals should follow these good health habits to help prevent getting and spreading the flu:
- Stay home when you are sick. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue (tiredness). Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. Not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your shoulder or elbow instead of your hands).
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand rub, but be sure to read and follow all the label instructions.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Practice good health habits: get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
For more information about the flu and flu vaccine speak individuals should contact their doctor or visit www.cdc.gov/flu/.