(01/07/2012)
With flu season just around the corner, officials from the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department are reminding residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley to get their seasonal flu shot if they haven't already.

"Flu season peaked in late January and early February last year so now is an ideal time to get your flu shot if you haven't already," said Patrick Burke, regional epidemiologist with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.

"Because the flu shot takes about 2 weeks to take effect, now is the time to get it done," he said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all persons age 6 months or older get an annual flu vaccine. Some children aged 6 months through 8 years will need two doses of vaccine four weeks apart this year so parents should check with their health care provider.

Influenza (the flu) is a respiratory illness caused by flu viruses that can spread easily from person-to person. Influenza can cause mild to severe illness.

Symptoms usually are fever, cough or sore throat, and may also include headache, extreme tiredness, runny or stuffy nose, or muscle aches. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can also occur, especially in children. Burke added, "It is especially important for people who work with young children and the elderly, such as health care workers, caregivers and teachers, to take the flu vaccine because it indirectly protects those people for whom they are caring.

The very young and the very old are at much greater risk for severe illness or death if they catch the flu."

For questions about flu shots, please contact your doctor or the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department at 304-485-7374.


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