Summit County Public Health warns Summit County residents that Summit County is in the midst of the 2016-2017 influenza season.
Just like the rest of Ohio and the nation, the number of influenza cases in Summit County has been increasing, according to a Feb. 13 release from SCPH. It is not too late to get your flu vaccination.
The Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone six months and older get a flu vaccination every year to protect themselves.
The flu vaccine is strongly recommended for those who are pregnant, the elderly, young children and those who have chronic health conditions. Persons getting influenza vaccine are protected themselves and also help protect others by not spreading the virus. The typical flu season begins in early October and runs through the spring.
"While flu vaccines do not protect people 100 percent of the time, they are still one of the most effective ways to prevent the flu" said Dr. Dr. Marguerite Erme, SCPH Medical Director. "Depending on the specific flu vaccine, people can be protected from 3 or 4 different strains of influenza. For this influenza season, there appears to be a good match between the vaccine and the influenza strains infecting people."
Flu vaccinations are currently available at most healthcare providers’ offices and SCPH by appointment as well as at many local retail pharmacies. There appears to be an adequate vaccine supply available at this time.Influenza is a respiratory illness and symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
Although most people fully recover from the flu, some experience severe illnesses like pneumonia and respiratory failure, and the flu can be fatal. Anyone who becomes ill with the flu and is pregnant, has an underlying medical condition, is older than 65 years old or younger than 2 years old, or experiences a particularly severe form of the illness should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Ways to avoid getting or spreading the flu include washing hands frequently; covering coughs and sneezes with tissues; coughing or sneezing into elbows; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home when sick and until fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing reducing medication. For more information on influenza visit www.flu.ohio.gov or www.scphoh.org.