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Flu Season Arrives, State Urges You Get Your Flu Shot

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This is information provided by the NYS Department of Health

The New York State Department of Health and New York State Office for the Aging today is reminding all New Yorkers that anyone over six months of age should get a flu vaccination to protect themselves and others during the upcoming flu season. Flu season usually starts in October and typically continues through May.

Adults aged 65 years and older, people with certain chronic medical conditions, young children and pregnant women are among those at highest risk for serious flu complications, which may require hospitalization and result in death. Since the flu virus can spread through coughing or sneezing, it is especially important for family members and people who have regular contact with high-risk individuals to be vaccinated.

The flu can cause mild to severe illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People infected with the flu may have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Last year in New York State, there were 12,912 flu-related hospitalizations and eight pediatric deaths. Over the last four years, there have been a total of 25 pediatric flu deaths in New York State and an average of 10,571 flu-related hospitalizations each year.

In addition to getting a flu shot, practice good hand-hygiene:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds to protect yourself from germs and avoid spreading them to others.
  • Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when soap and water are not available. Choose a product with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Do not cough or sneeze into your hands. Instead, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults over the age of 65 should take additional precautions:

  • Seek medical advice early to see if you need treatment with antiviral drugs. These medications are most effective when given early.
  • Get a pneumococcal vaccine. People who are 65 years of age and older and get the flu are at risk for developing pneumonia.

Link: Additional information about influenza


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