HARRISBURG, PA —Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine urged residents to get their flu vaccine as flu season intensifies because as of December 28, there have been more than 17,300 laboratory-confirmed cases and nine deaths statewide.
“The flu is serious and can be deadly, which is why it is extremely important that Pennsylvanians are receiving their flu vaccine now,” said Dr. Levine. “We are concerned with the growing amount of cases. In addition to getting your flu vaccine, make sure you are taking other preventative measures to protect yourself from the spread of the flu. There is no better measure to protect yourself from flu than to get a flu vaccine.”
Each day during the 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show, the Department of Health and Penn State Health will be providing free flu vaccines at the Department of Health booth. The Pennsylvania Farm Show began January 4 and runs through January 11. Flu vaccines at the Farm Show will be available during normal show hours.
“If you have not received your flu vaccine yet, we encourage you to stop by the department’s booth,” said Dr. Levine. “It is a quick and easy process to help protect not only yourself, but anyone you may come into contact with this flu season. If you are not able to attend the farm show, you can obtain your flu vaccine at your doctor’s office, pharmacy, local walk-in clinic or grocery store.”
Dr. Levine noted the flu vaccine can often diminish the severity of symptoms a person might experience should they come down with the flu. In addition to the flu shot, the flu nasal spray is also available this year, and both are recommended to protect yourself against the flu.
Influenza is a contagious disease, caused by the influenza virus. It attacks the nose, throat and lungs and may include the following symptoms:
- Dry cough;
- Sore throat;
- Nasal congestion; and
- Body aches.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine each season. It takes about two weeks for the antibodies from the vaccine to develop protection against infection.
In addition to getting vaccinated, Pennsylvanians are encouraged to practice healthy habits like covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, frequently washing your hands during flu season and remembering to disinfect commonly-touched objects, such as door knobs, light switches, countertops, cell phones and computers.
If you do become sick with the flu, it is important to stay home and rest. If you are at risk for developing serious complications from the flu, or feel extremely ill, you should see a medical professional immediately.
Additional information on how to stay healthy and prevent the flu can be found on the Department of Health’s website.
Source: PA Department of Health
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