OSDH say prevention is key now that flu season is here

Flu Shots, Credit: CNN

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reported Thursday the first flu death of the 2019-2020 flu season, and 53 people have been hospitalized since September 1, so health officials want to encourage you to get your flu shot as soon as possible.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible. It typically takes about two weeks to build up immunity once one receives the flu shot.

Flu vaccination is recommended each year for everyone six months of age and older.

It is especially important for adults 65 years and older, those who have chronic diseases or are immunocompromised, children less than five years old, pregnant women and healthcare workers.

Getting vaccinated is the first and most important step in protecting your family and yourself against this potentially serious disease.

If you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease, the flu can make you very sick and you are at the highest risk for hospitalization and death.

County health departments across the state are providing flu immunizations at no out-of-pocket costs. The high-dose version of the vaccine is also available for those over the age of 65.

In addition to getting your flu shot, OCCHD reminds you to follow these preventive actions every day to stop the spread of germs:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing or using a
    tissue.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if your hands are not visibly soiled.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when sneezing or coughing. If you are
    without a tissue, cough into your sleeve, not your hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick with a fever and a cough. Remain home until 24 hours after your
    fever goes away, without the use of fever-reducing medications. Avoid work, public places and
    group events during this time.

Click here to find a health department near you to get your vaccine.

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