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One Shot to Skip the Flu 

Posted on October 18th, 2018

Recently, the CDC reported that positive influenza (flu) tests in the Southeast were up almost 23 percent, and Georgia moved into the “widespread” category for flu.  There have been more than 400 hospitalizations and nine confirmed flu-related deaths in the state (as of January 3). 

Flu viruses are detected year-round but are most common during the fall and winter. Even though we’re still early in the season, now is the time to get a flu vaccine – available at all GNR Health Departments. Find a location and get your shot today. 

“It’s never too early to get your flu shot,” said Alana Sulka, Director of Epidemiology for the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments.  “Don’t wait until we see an uptick in cases. Getting a flu shot now is one of the most important things you can do to protect you and your family from the flu.” 

Flu typically affects those at high risk, including young children, the elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions. Every flu season is different, and the flu shot protects against the flu viruses that will be most common during the flu season. Protection against H1N1, which tends to affect the young and middle-aged adult population, is included in this year’s vaccine.  

“In addition to encouraging flu shots in the young, elderly, and individuals with chronic medical conditions, we want to encourage young and middle-aged adults to make sure they are protected, too,” Sulka continued.  “Flu season normally peaks in January and February, and can last until May.  So now is the time to get vaccinated and receive protection.” 

While we refer to the flu vaccines as flu “shots,” the Health Department also offers FluMist for those between 2 and 49 years old. FluMist is a vaccine that is sprayed into the nose. If you’re under 49, don’t let the fear of needles detract from protecting yourself against catching the flu. 

Flu vaccines are available at many places, including all Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Department locations.  Locations and hours are available here. Come in and get your shot today! 

Additional Protection 

In addition to getting a flu shot, there are simple things you can do to help stop the spread of germs: wash your hands and cover your cough.  And if you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, without the use of a fever-reducing medicine. 

Wash Your Hands 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.  Wash hands after coughing and sneezing, after caring for ill individuals, after using the bathroom and before preparing food. 
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

Cover Your Cough 

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or inner elbow or upper sleeve when you cough or sneeze. 
  • Put your used tissue in the waste basket. 
  • Wash your hands after you cough or sneeze. 

Stay Home When You Are Sick  

  • This will help prevent spreading your illness to others at work, school, or in the community.  

 

For more helpful tips, check out the following links