Health

Get Your Flu Shot Now

You’ve survived Thanksgiving and didn’t get sick. But can you make it to 2016 without getting the flu?

You’re more likely to stay healthy into the New Year if you get a flu shot.

“It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop, so if you get vaccinated now you’re more likely to stay healthy during the coming weeks and months when flu activity increases dramatically,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “If you have not done it yet, get your flu shot now.” 

Flu activity in San Diego County currently is relatively low, which is expected for this time of the year.

For the week ending November 28, 2015, the Health and Human Services Agency Influenza Watch report shows the following:

  • Emergency department visits for influenza-like illness: 4 percent of all visits (up from 2 the previous week)
  • Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 9 (down from 16 the previous week)
  • Total influenza deaths to date: 1 (compared to 0 last season)
  • Total lab-confirmed influenza cases to date: 132 (compared to 128 last season)

Your Best Shot Against the Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine is safe and effective. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop.

RELATED: First Local Flu-related Death of the Season Reported

Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza. They include:

  • People with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and lung disease, even if your symptoms are under control
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live with or care for others who are at higher risk

Other Tips to Stay Healthy

In addition to getting vaccinated, people should also do the following to avoid getting sick:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often
  • Use hand sanitizers
  • Stay away from sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others

The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies. If you don’t have medical insurance, you can go to a County public health center to get vaccinated. For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 2-1-1.

 

 

 

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact