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Programs & Services: Influenza Information
The Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that the following groups get a flu vaccine:
- CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
- While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common.
- The 2011-2012 flu vaccine will protect against an influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus.
- Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu as soon as the 2011-2012 season vaccine is available.
- People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
- Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
- Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.
- Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.
How to find an Influenza Vaccine
- Call your doctor, nurse or clinic
- Check the American Lung Association’s Flu Shot Locator at www.flucliniclocator.org
- Contact your local health department - a list of local health departments is available at: www.doh.wa.gov/LHJMap/LHJMap.htm
- Call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588
Symptoms of Influenza
The signs to watch for include fever, headache, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and muscle aches. If you or someone you know has these symptoms and they are severe, contact your health care provider as soon as possible.
Flu Fact Sheet- FAQ--Washington State Department of Health
Protect Yourself and Others: Use Good Health Habits
Take these simple precautions to help prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory disease:
- Get vaccinated
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your upper sleeve, not your bare hand
- Use a tissue to wipe your nose, then throw the tissue away
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizer
- Stay home to avoid spreading germs if you or your family members are coughing, sneezing or have aches or fever associated with influenza
- Wear a mask to cover your face in a medical office, if asked
Flu Fact Sheet and Flu Pyramid: The Immunization Program/CHILD Profile has influenza education materials that can be ordered for free, including a fact sheet for parents and a countertop display (Flu Pyramid) for health care clinics, lobbies and offices. For information on ordering materials, please visit: http://www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/Immunize/vaccine/order-materials.htm