October 3, 2022
Media Contact: Cassie Barber, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chesterfield Health District Encourages All Residents to Get Vaccinated for the Flu
CHESTERFIELD, Va. – In preparation for the 2022-23 flu season, the Chesterfield Health District encourages everyone six months and older who lives, works or plays in Chesterfield County, Powhatan County, and the City of Colonial Heights to receive their annual influenza (flu) vaccine.
“With the flu season quickly approaching, please be sure to continue to do your part to protect yourself and loved ones,” said Chesterfield Health District Direct Alexander Samuel, MD, MPH.
Flu season, the period of highest influenza activity, normally begins in early October and ends in late May. While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, during most seasons, cases often peak in January or February.
A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and updated to keep up with changing flu viruses.
You should get the influenza vaccine as soon as it becomes available. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to get your flu vaccine.
Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is a serious disease caused by the influenza virus that affects the respiratory tract. It is highly contagious and generally spreads from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can be transmitted even before flu-like symptoms appear. A person usually becomes sick one to three days following exposure to the virus. Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.
For the 2021-22 flu season, Virginia spent 11 weeks at widespread. During that season, Virginia reported 4,977 influenza infections, 24 outbreaks, one influenza-associated pediatric death and 3,895 pneumonia, influenza and/or COVID-19 associated deaths.
To minimize your risk of contracting or transmitting the flu, follow these simple steps:
- Get vaccinated;
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds;
- Cover your cough, either by using a disposable tissue or coughing into your sleeve, not your hand; and
- Stay at home when you are sick.
Visit www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines/ to find a location near you to get the flu vaccine. It is safe to get both the flu and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. For more information, call the Chesterfield Health Department at (804)-748-1691.
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