December 30, 2010
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Start the New Year Off Right Urges Virginia Health Commissioner – Get a Flu Shot!
(Richmond, Va.) “Make it your New Year’s resolution to get vaccinated against the flu,” says State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, MD, MBA, FAAP. “It’s one of the healthiest resolutions you can make and one of the easiest to keep.”
Seasonal flu activity is increasing across the nation and in Virginia. For the first time this flu season, the influenza activity level in the state has increased to “widespread.” This means that during the week ending December 25, a majority of Virginia’s health-planning regions were above their thresholds for influenza-like illness and had laboratory evidence that the flu was circulating in the community.
Virginia’s flu season typically begins in December and runs through March, hitting its peak in February, so it’s not too late to get the flu shot.
“With ample vaccine available in Virginia, and peak flu season just around the corner,” says Dr. Remley, “early January is the perfect time to protect yourself, your loved ones and your coworkers by getting vaccinated.”
To locate a pharmacy, physician or local health department clinic offering seasonal flu vaccine, log on to www.vdh.virginia.gov or contact your local health department.
In addition to getting vaccinated, taking these everyday precautions can also help prevent spreading the flu:
Typical symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and often extreme fatigue.
“If you don’t have time to be sick with the flu,” adds Dr. Remley, “you have to make time to get the flu shot.
Note to Media -- Dr. Remely will be available on Thursday, Dec. 30 from 1 - 2 p.m. for interviews at VDH Headquarters in the Madison Building at 109 Governor Street. Dr. Remley will also be available by phone. Please call (804) 237-9760 to schedule an interview.