December 5, 2018 - In conjunction with National Influenza Vaccination Week, the Texas Department of State Health Services reminds people it’s not too late to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu. Vaccination can help reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications. People can find out where flu shots are available at texasflu.org or by contacting their health care provider.
“Last flu season was severe, and the U.S. saw a record number of flu-related hospitalizations and pediatric deaths,” said Dr. Jennifer Shuford, DSHS Infectious Disease Medical Officer. “We have no way of knowing if this flu season will be milder or just as severe as last season. We are recommending all Texans 6 months of age and older get their flu vaccine as soon as possible.” Vaccination is especially important for older adults, infants, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions because they are at greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu.
Influenza is a contagious disease caused by one of a number of related viruses. Flu symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches and fatigue. The onset of symptoms is sudden, and people should stay home until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to get medical care. People experiencing symptoms are encouraged to seek treatment promptly. Antiviral drugs may shorten the duration or lessen the severity of the flu if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
People can help stop the spread of flu by getting vaccinated, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when they’re sick.