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The right time for influenza vaccine

Influenza season will soon be upon us, making this an excellent time to get a flu vaccine. Getting vaccinated is the first and best way to prevent flu, according to a news release.

This season, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated, even if they got a seasonal vaccine last season. Flu vaccines have protected millions of people safely for decades.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of seasonal influenza-associated (that is, seasonal flu-related) deaths varies from year to year because flu seasons are unpredictable and often fluctuate in length and severity. The bottom line is the flu is a serious disease. In the event you contract the flu or are in contact with someone who may have the flu, follow these simple precautionary measures to prevent the spread of flu virus to yourself, your family, and to those in your community:

∫ Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

∫ Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using a tissue. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

∫ Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

∫ Avoid close contact with people who are sick (at least six feet).

∫ Stay home if you are sick for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without the use of fever-reducing medication).

∫ Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs such as flu.

Montgomery County Public Health encourages everyone to check with his or her health care provider for seasonal flu vaccine. Montgomery County Public Health has seasonal influenza vaccine for children that qualify for state’s Vaccines for Children program ages 6 months through 18 years and adult vaccine as well.

For more information about the flu or to schedule an appointment, call Montgomery County Public Health at (518) 853-3531 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or visit our website at www.co.montgomery.ny.us/publichealth.

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