With children heading back to school, and adults back to work after the busy holiday season, Lincoln County Health Department encourages residents to give the gift of influenza protection by getting a flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone aged six months and older should be vaccinated.
“The most effective way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Henry Anderson, State Health Officer. “Getting your flu shot and making sure children are vaccinated can help protect relatives and friends of all ages, and will help protect children when they return to school in January.”
People have been diagnosed with influenza statewide, with influenza A and B strains circulating. All age groups are affected. So far this season, 14% of those hospitalized with influenza were under age 18; 18% were aged 18 to 49; 22% were aged 50 to 64; and 46% were aged 65 and older.
Anderson noted that influenza has not yet peaked in Wisconsin, making it especially important to get vaccinated to prevent future cases. To get your flu shot and flu shots for your family, contact your health care provider, pharmacy, or call the Lincoln County Health Department at 715-536-0307.
Lincoln County Health Department also suggests these important steps:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with your upper sleeve, and try to avoid touching your face with your hand. If you use a tissue, throw it away after one use.
• Use your own drinking cups and straws.
• Avoid being exposed to people who are sick with flu-like symptoms.
• Eat nutritious meals, get plenty of rest and do not smoke.
• Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces (e.g., door knobs, refrigerator handle, telephone, faucets).
• If you think you have the flu, stay home, get rest, drink plenty of liquids and avoid using alcohol and tobacco. If your symptoms persist, contact your doctor.
For more information on influenza, visit http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/influenza/index.htm.