State health dept., CDC urge early flu shots

Flu season is approaching, and early vaccinations are urged and recommended.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is recommending all Ohioans six months and older to get earlier flu shots, according to a release. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging people to get vaccinations by the end of October.

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Flu activity increases in October, with peak in December and February, but can last until May, the release read.

The CDC recommends yearly flu vaccinations as the best protection against seasonal flu viruses.

“Flu vaccination can help keep you from getting sick, missing work or school, and prevent flu-related hospitalization and death,” said Sietske de Fijter, State Epidemiologist and Chief, Bureau of Infectious Diseases.

“Getting your flu shot helps protect all, including older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications,” he said.

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Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

“If you are sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others,” said de Fijter.

Other effective ways to avoid getting or spreading the flu include:

  • Washing hands frequently or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with tissues or coughing and sneezing into elbow
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when sick and until fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication

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