Northwest Ambulance District paramedics and staff would like to remind you to get a flu shot. Everyone six months and older needs an annual flu shot.
In the United States, almost 50,000 people die annually from the flu or complications of the flu.
The flu, also called influenza, is caused by a virus that causes local epidemics as well as epidemics through the world. In the United States, the flu season typically begins in the fall.
The most common symptoms of the flu include:
Fever of around 101ºF to 102ºF
These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks and sometimes longer.
When you have the flu your entire body feels sick.
Because influenza is a virus, antibiotics won't help. People who catch the flu should stay home, get plenty of rest, drink clear fluids like water or broth, and talk to their healthcare provider or pharmacist about over-the-counter medications that may help ease fever and muscle aches.
People in high risk groups including pregnant women, children younger than two years of age, seniors 65 years of age and older, or people with respiratory problems should seek immediate attention at the first sign of flu symptoms.
Influenza spreads easily especially if you spend time in crowded places such as work and school. The flu virus may be airborne from coughing and sneezing. The flu virus also spreads when hands are not kept clean and contaminated surfaces are touched. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing and regularly wash your hands during the flu season.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone six months of age or older with rare exception get an annual flu vaccine.
Flu vaccines are usually available in the late summer or early fall. The peak of flu season usually comes in February or a little later so any time up to February the flu shot would still be effective. We encourage you to get the flu shot as soon as the vaccine is available each year. Flu shots are offered throughout our County if you need a location and can't find one, contact your local health department.
Vincent T. Gildone, NAD Administrator