Holiday season and the beginning of the new year are right around the corner. This makes it the perfect time to get your flu shot. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) recommends that all Ohioans 6 months or older get a flu shot immediately. This is the time of year that we see a rise in cases of the flu.
At this time, ODH has increased the flu activity level to “regional,” meaning that just under half of the state is seeing flu activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as many as 2,400 people have died since October from the flu.
“It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to fully develop in the body” said ODH Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH. “With friends and family starting to gather for the holiday season, it is the perfect time to make sure you and your loved ones are protected against the virus.”
“We want our residents to stay healthy this holiday season.” said Health Commissioner Nasandra Wright, MPH, RS. “We want to make sure everyone is protected against the flu by getting vaccinated. This will prevent spreading the flu to friends and family members.”
Symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, cough, sore threat, stuffy nose, muscle or body aches and fatigue. Adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, young children, and people with long-term health conditions are among the groups most at risk.
In addition to getting your flu shot, ODH offers the following tips to help you stay healthy this flu season:
Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitizer when you are unable to wash.
Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread this way.
Get plenty of rest. Sleep is shown to help your body fight off illness.