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FDOH-Hillsborough Reminds You to Take Precautions This Flu Season

By Kevin Watler, P.I.O.

January 24, 2018

Woman sneezing

There is widespread flu activity in Hillsborough County. Influenza A (H3) is the strain of flu that is more common this season. This strain is usually associated with more severe illness in young children and adults over the age of 65.

 “It is flu season and other strains of flu are circulating,” said Michael Wiese, epidemiology program manager with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County. “The best thing people can do is get a flu vaccine now if they have not already, practice good handwashing and stay home if they are sick.”

Flu vaccines can vary in effectiveness from season to season, but they continue to be the best way to prevent influenza infection and serious influenza complications. “While the vaccine may not be as effective with the Influenza A (H3) strain, it may prevent serious complications from influenza and also help protect individuals from getting another strain,” Wiese added.

There are still weeks of flu activity to come. It is not too late to get your flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is safe, and recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women.

There are many places in Hillsborough County that offer the flu vaccine. Visit www.flhealth.gov/findaflushot to locate a place that offers flu shots. You may also contact your health care provider.

If you become ill with flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as possible. Your health care provider can prescribe antiviral treatment if appropriate. Treatment is most effective when started within 48 hours, so calling as soon as you become ill is important, especially if you or your loved one is at a higher risk for complications: children younger than 5, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, and those with underlying medical conditions.

Stay home from work and keep children home from school or daycare when sick to help prevent spreading the flu to others. It is also essential to practice good hygiene by properly and frequently washing your hands. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home, school or office. You can take additional steps to ward off the flu by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and avoiding touching your face.
 

Visit FluFreeFlorida.com for more information on how you can be a part of #FluFreeFlorida. Visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/influenza/index.html for more information on influenza and influenza-like illness in Florida.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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