Published on January 23, 2013

Florida Flu Season in Full Swing

The Duval County Health Department (DCHD) has confirmed a pediatric death related to the influenza virus.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths associated with flu range from a low of 3,000 people, to a high of 49,000 annually over the past 30 years.  To avoid the flu, the Department urges two prevention methods: getting a flu vaccination and being alert to spreading germs. 

 

The DCHD offers the following tips:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, not your hand.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.

 

Each year’s flu vaccine contains the three strains of influenza most likely to be circulating that year.  That’s why it’s so important to get a flu shot every fall.  Last year’s shot might not cover the same strains infecting us this year.

 

The DCHD encourages the following groups to receive a flu vaccine because they are either at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing complications:

 

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than five, but especially children younger than two years old
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney disease, liver disease, neurologic disorder, blood disorder or a weakened immune system
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu including healthcare workers, household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu and household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age* (who are too young to be vaccinated)

 

Flu vaccinations are available at the DCHD by walk-in and appointment.  For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call the DCHD’s Immunization Center Office, at (904) 253-1420.

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Charles L. Griggs

Director

Office of Public Health Communications and Planning

Florida Department of Health

Duval County Health Department

900 University Blvd. North. Suite 205, MC-40

Jacksonville, FL 32211

charles_griggs@doh.state.fl.us

Tel. 904-253-1004, Cell 904-686-5608

Fax 904-253-2428

Family Medicine RN Gina Ernest Talks about Flu Protection

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