Flu is a potentially serious, contagious disease and can cause mild to severe illness. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from flu. Serious outcomes of flu can lead to hospitalization and even death.
Public health officials recommend a three-step approach to fight flu.
1. Get a flu vaccine. Receiving an annual vaccine is the first and most important step. It protects you against the flu and serious complications. Flu vaccines protect against the most common flu viruses that season.
Flu vaccination has been shown to:
- Reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, and missed work and school due to flu.
- Reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalization for children, working-age adults and older adults.
- Prevent serious medical events associated with some chronic conditions.
- Protect women during and after pregnancy. The vaccine protects babies from flu after birth for several months.
- Be lifesaving in children.
Vaccinating yourself may also protect people around you. This includes babies, young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions. Everyone six months and older should receive a flu vaccine every year.
2. Take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you become sick, limit your contact with others to keep from infecting them. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces and objects.
3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. If you get sick with flu, prescription antiviral drugs help treat your illness. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They can make an illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. Antiviral drug treatment for high-risk patients reduces the chances of a hospital stay.
Carver County Public Health (600 Fourth St. E.) offers the flu vaccine at its regular vaccination clinics. They're available to individuals without insurance for flu vaccine:
- 3-5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9.
- 3-5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23.
Call 952-361-1329 for an appointment (recommended).
Carver County Public Health works to promote and protect the health of all county residents to make Carver County a place for a lifetime of good health.