San Francisco, CA – Public Health Departments around the Bay Area are announcing that influenza season is beginning and SF residents are encouraged to get their flu shots.
Because the flu is unpredictable and the vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective, San Francisco County health officials urge everyone six months and older to get vaccinated early in the season. It’s important to get vaccinated prior to the circulation of influenza in your community. Ensuring timely flu shots can prevent a disease that hospitalizes 200,000 Americans every year.
“Protect yourself, your family and your community,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, San Francisco Health Officer. “It is time for your flu shots, San Franciscans.”
The strains of influenza change over time, so it’s important to get vaccinated every year. Protection against the flu is especially important for pregnant women, children younger than 5 years, adults 65 and older, and those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes.
In addition to getting the flu shot, here are some other ways to protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue.
- If you do not have a tissue, cough into your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Stay home when you are sick.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. People at higher risk of severe disease who show flu symptoms should contact their medical provider. Medical providers may prescribe antiviral medications that reduce the severity and duration of illness. Antibiotics are not effective against the flu.
Everyone can play a part to prevent the spread of the flu! For more information, contact your health care provider or local pharmacies or visit the CDCP influenza web page. To find a flu vaccine at a location near you, visit the Vaccine Finder.