It’s Still Not Too Late to Get Vaccinated
(Toms River) – Flu activity is on the rise in New Jersey, joining the rest of the nation with levels climbing higher than typically expected at this point in the flu season. The Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) wants to remind residents it’s not too late to get vaccinated if you haven’t already.
“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,” says 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.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports 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.
The Ocean County Health Department is counting on health care providers to continue to do their important part by recommending vaccination, treating sick individuals that are very sick or at high risk of serious complications with antiviral medicine. It’s also important to limit the spread of influenza at clinics and other health care facilities by keeping sick individuals separated from healthy patients.
“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,” advises Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator. “Don’t risk it – protect yourself and others by getting the vaccine as soon as possible.”
The influenza viruses are mostly spread person to person 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 adds.
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. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze. Try to limit the number of times you touch your face and mouth without washing your hands; it’s the easiest way for germs to enter the body. Try to sanitize things in your home such as door knobs, phones, remote controls, counter tops and other surfaces that are likely to be touched.
To learn more about the facts behind the flu or for our clinics schedule, please visit the OCHD website at www.ochd.org or follow us on Twitter@OCpublichealth or follow us on Facebook. Also, please check out our new website at www.phu2.org, to access and learn more about our Public Health is You Too! campaign to help equip you to take simple steps to improve your health.