San Mateo County Health officials are urging everyone six months and older to get a flu vaccine. Even late in the season, as flu activity is increasing in San Mateo County, the best way to protect yourself is to get the flu vaccine. It is available from your health care provider and from local pharmacies. To find a location near you, visit vaccinefinder.org.
A flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick and may make your illness milder if you do get sick. It also helps protect family members and others in the community.
“We are seeing increased flu activity in emergency departments throughout the county,” said David Chang, MD, San Mateo County Health System’s Interim Communicable Disease Controller. “Getting the flu vaccine now is still the best way to protect yourself and your family.”
While these symptoms can certainly be unpleasant, there are often things you can do to offer relief. If you do start to experience symptoms, please address the illness early and consider calling your doctor or using a local urgent care facility as needed.
Common flu symptoms to look out for*:
* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have all these symptoms.
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
More information: www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/symptoms.htm
People at High Risk from Flu
While the flu is typically not life-threatening, some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.
5 Steps to Take if You Get the Flu:
- If you get very sick or are pregnant or have a medical condition that puts you at higher risk of flu complications (like asthma…), call your doctor right away. You might need antiviral medicine to treat flu.
- Stay at home and rest.
- Avoid close contact with well people in your house so you won’t make them sick.
- Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent fluid loss (dehydration).
- Treat fever and cough with medicines you can buy at the store.
More information: www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/general/influenza_flu_homecare_guide.pdf
When caring for people who have the flu:
- Avoid being face to face with the sick person. If possible, it is best to spend the least amount of time in close contact with a sick person.
- When holding sick children, place their chin on your shoulder so they will not cough in your face.
- Wash your hands often and right way.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Make sure to wash your hands after touching the sick person. Wash after handling their tissues or laundry.
More information: www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/caring-for-someone.htm
Where to get a flu shot:
It’s not too late to get a flu shot and we encourage the public to get vaccinated. To locate a flu vaccine clinic near you, visit VaccineFinder.org.