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The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center urges residents to take action now to prevent the spread of influenza, also known as the flu. The flu is a highly contagious virus that can have serious complications. As the holidays approach, protect yourself and your family—get your seasonal flu vaccine, the best way to prevent the flu.
“During last year’s flu season, 55 Lake County residents were admitted to Intensive Care Units for flu and its complications. Of those 55, three died,” said Dr. Sana Ahmed, Medical Epidemiologist at the Health Department. “We recommend getting your flu vaccine as soon as possible to build your body’s defense against flu.”
The seasonal flu vaccine is available as either a shot or a nasal spray. Ask a health care provider to determine which type is best for you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months and older get the flu vaccine every year.
In addition to getting your flu vaccine, the Health Department recommends following the 3 C’s to prevent the spread of flu: clean, cover, and contain.
The flu is different than the common cold. It can spread to others up to about 6 feet away through droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Flu usually comes on suddenly, and symptoms can include fever, chills, cough, runny nose, body aches, tiredness, headaches, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your health care provider if you or a family member are experiencing flu symptoms. Your provider may prescribe flu antiviral drugs, which have been found to lessen the duration and severity of symptoms and prevent serious flu complications.
The Health Department continues to provide flu vaccinations by appointment at its Community Health Centers. To schedule an appointment, call the Patient Access Center at (847) 377-8800. Many health care providers and retail locations also offer the flu shot. Contact your provider to see if they have the vaccine or find a convenient location using the Flu Vaccine Finder: vaccinefinder.org.