Health

Resolve to Get a Flu Shot in 2016

So you’ve resolved to get healthier next year.

Joining a gym, being more physically active and eating more healthy are great resolutions.

But there’s another thing that is easier to do and can help you stay healthy: getting a flu shot.

“Flu activity typically increases during January and February. Get vaccinated now,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Getting a shot is the best step you can take to avoid getting the flu.”

Flu activity in San Diego County continues to be low, but influenza season is unpredictable and activity could change at any time.

For the week ending December 26, 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 (unchanged from the previous week)
  • Lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week: 43 (up from 23 the previous week)
  • Total influenza deaths to date: 3 (compared to 0 last season)
  • Total lab-confirmed influenza cases to date: 245 (compared to 392 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.

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 Community Health Center or 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