Not too late for flu shot

Staff report

It is not too late to get a flu vaccine, according to the Fulton County Health Department.

“Influenza vaccination is the safest and most effective way to fight the flu,” said ODH Medical Director Dr. Mary DiOrio. “Flu vaccination is especially important for older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.”

It is recommended that everyone six months of age and older receive a yearly influenza vaccine to protect them from seasonal influenza viruses. In Ohio, flu season typically begins in October and runs through the spring. So far this season, flu activity in Ohio has been minimal, it’s not known when that will change. During the 2015-16 influenza season, 20 residents of Fulton County were hospitalized with influenza, with the majority of those hospitalizations occurring in March.

DiOrio said it takes about two weeks for the flu vaccination to take full effect, so it is important to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible. Flu vaccination is available at most healthcare providers’ offices, local health departments, and retail pharmacies. DiOrio said the Fulton County Health Department still has an ample supply of the vaccine.

For the 2015-16 influenza season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that influenza vaccination prevented approximately 5.1 million influenza illnesses, 2.5 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 71,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations.

In addition to vaccination, ways to avoid getting or spreading the flu include washing hands frequently; covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home when sick.

Symptoms of seasonal flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Individuals who do get sick with the flu should stay home, drink plenty of fluids, and get plenty of rest. If symptoms become severe or a person is pregnant or has an underlying chronic medical condition, seek medical attention immediately.

For more information, please visit or call 419-337-0915 to make an appointment for a flu vaccine.

Staff report