In addition to urging Denton County residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Denton County Public Health is also encouraging them to get the flu vaccine before the end of October.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, preventive measures like flu vaccines can help lower the possibility of illness and lower the demand on medical providers and hospitals throughout the flu season, DCPH said in a news release. Seasonal flu activity usually begins to increase in the fall and tends to peak between December through February.
“As our focus has been on COVID-19, deservedly so, we can’t forget to get our flu shot to protect us from this seasonal threat,” said DCPH Director Dr. Matt Richardson. “As we continue to learn and re-learn, vaccinations are an effective way to prevent disease. Getting your flu shot this month can help reduce the risk of flu during the fall and winter months.”
DCPH recommends a three-pronged approach to fighting the flu:
- Get vaccinated. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to get an annual flu shot, and the flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
- Remember that antiviral medications are a second-line defense against the flu. If you are experiencing fever, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and headaches, visit your doctor immediately, and take antivirals if prescribed. These remedies can help you recover quicker, and can potentially prevent you from being hospitalized with flucomplications.
- Take everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. Preventive actions practiced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic help slow the spread of influenza, too. Wearing a mask, washing and sanitizing your hands often, and staying home when feeling unwell can help prevent many respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
As with the COVID-19 vaccine, getting the flu shot is not just about protecting yourself from getting sick, but it’s a community effort that also reduces the chances you’ll spread the virus to others. Vaccinating also helps safeguard those who are at highest risk of complications or death from the flu, including:
- Pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum
- Children younger than five
- Adults 65 years of age and older
- People living in long-term care facilities
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives
- People with chronic health conditions such as asthma, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, weakened immune system due to disease or medication, kidney and liver disorders, and people with extreme obesity
Visit DentonCounty.gov/Flu and CDC.gov/Flu for details about symptoms, treatment and prevention.