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San Mateo County Health Officials Urge Residents to Get the Flu Vaccine

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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.”

Because the vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective, San Mateo County health officials are urging everyone six months and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible. It is especially important for pregnant women, children younger than five, adults 65 and older, and those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. 

“The flu vaccine is safe and effective and is the most important tool against the spread of influenza in San Mateo County,” said Dr. Chang. “It is not only important to get your flu vaccination but also to make sure your friends and loved ones get it too.” 

Residents are encouraged to address the illness early and consider calling a doctor or using a local urgent care facility as needed if they start to experience symptoms. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

In addition to getting the vaccine, the following steps will help prevent the spread of the flu:  

  • 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. 
  • Stay home until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours.  

For more information about recent flu activity in San Mateo County and how to fight the flu, visit smchealth.org/alert.

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