Flu Season is Still Underway- Are You Protected?
Influenza is still circulating at increased levels in Orange County. Young children under 5 years of age and women who are pregnant or who have had a baby in the past 2 weeks are among those at high risk of severe illness and complications from influenza. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu:
- It’s not too late to get vaccinated and to be protected for the rest of the influenza season, which may extend through the spring.
- Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year.
- In a recent (2017) study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated death by half among children with underlying medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds among healthy children!
- Flu vaccine is readily available in medical offices and pharmacies.
- Ask your doctor. If you have health insurance, you can usually get your flu shot from your medical provider.
- Find a clinic. See the list of community sites offering flu vaccinations or call the Health Referral Line 1 (800) 564-8448.
Go to a pharmacy. See HealthMap Vaccine Finder to find a pharmacy near you where you can get vaccinated.
- Visit our clinic. If you don’t have a doctor or health insurance, the OC Health Care Agency offers free flu shots every Wednesday from 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at our location at 1725 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana. No appointment is needed. For more information see the Orange County Flu Web Page.
Take Actions Everyday to Stop the Spread of Germs
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using the tissue, throw it away in the trash and wash your hands.
- Wash your hands often using soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-base hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched and/or may be contaminated with germs such as flu.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without fever-reducing medicine) except to get medical care or other necessities.
Take Flu Antiviral Drugs if Your Doctor Prescribes Them
- If you are sick with influenza, antiviral drugs may make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications, so they are especially important for people at increased for severe influenza, including young children and pregnant or post-partum women.
- If you doctor prescribes flu antivirals, you should take them! They work best when started within 2 days of getting sick.
For more information, see the CDC Fight the Flu Poster