Tuesday, February 7, 2023

It’s not too late to get your flu shot, Denton County Health says

Denton County Public Health is recognizing National Influenza Vaccination Week by urging community members to get their flu vaccine to protect themselves and others this week.

NIVW serves as an annual reminder that even though flu season has arrived, it is not too late to get a flu vaccine, says a news release from DCPH. 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. Though the severity of each flu season in Denton County can be unpredictable, seasonal flu activity increases in the fall and tends to peak from December through February.

“With the recent increase in flu activity, we want to remind everyone that getting the flu vaccine is the absolute best way to protect yourself and those you love,” said Juan Rodriguez, assistant director of DCPH. “It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to be fully effective, now is the time to plan ahead for this holiday season.”

DCPH recommends a three-pronged approach to fighting the flu:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 flu complications.
  3. 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).

DCPH reminds residents that vaccination is a community effort that not only protects yourself, but also family, friends and those around you. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every flu season. DCPH says vaccinating also helps safeguard those who are at the 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
  • Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic or Latinos, and 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.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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