Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, September 30, 2011

Health Commissioner King: Who should get a flu shot

We want to welcome new Norwood Health Commissioner Brad King to our blog with his first public health message to Norwood residents:

Recently the Health Department released the schedule for flu clinics for the month of October. I wanted to provide some information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as to why you should get the flu vaccine and steps to avoid getting sick and spreading germs. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Health Department Monday-Friday 8 a.m. -5 p.m.

Brad King, RS, MPH
Health Commissioner
Norwood City Health Department

Take time to get a flu vaccine.
· CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
· While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common.
· The 2011-2012 vaccine will protect against an influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that emerged in 2009 to cause a pandemic.
· Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the 2011-2012 vaccines are available.
· Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
· People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
· Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.
· Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
· Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
· If you are sick with flu–like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
· While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

(NOTE: Please see the 9/23/11 blog below for NHD’s flu shot clinic schedule for October.)