Published on January 24, 2013

Children and the Flu

Pediatrician Dr. Hilleary Rockwell is a live guest on the Action News morning show to talk about protecting children from the flu one day after the Duval County Health Department (DCHD) confirmed a pediatric death related to the influenza virus.

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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)