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  About the Flu

Plan, prevent and protect yourself, family and friends from serious illness and infections by getting an annual flu shot.

PLAN

Knowing the facts may surprise you, but planning to get vaccinated is the best form of protection against the flu.

You may be surprised that…
» On average 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the flu.
» More than 200,000 people in the US are hospitalized from influenza every year.
» Approximately 36,000 flu-related deaths occur each year.
» Combined with pneumonia, influenza is the 8th leading cause of death in the US.

PREVENT

The main spread of illness like colds and flu are from person to person in respiratory droplets, like coughing and sneezing.

Help prevent the flu by:

1. Getting vaccinated
2. Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze
3. Washing hands frequently with soap and warm water or alcohol based hand sanitizers
4. Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth
5. Avoiding contact with someone who is sick
6. Staying home if you become sick


The 2010-2011 vaccine protects against A/H1N1 (pandemic) influenza and two other influenza viruses - influenza A/H3N2 and influenza B.

PROTECT

Symptoms of Flu:

Anyone can get influenza, but rates of infection are highest among children. For most people, symptoms last only a few days.

They include:
» sore throat
» fever
» chills
» fatigue
» cough
» headache
» muscle aches

Other illnesses can have the same symptoms and are often mistaken for influenza.

Who Should Get Vaccinated:

While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, the CDC especially recommends that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

1. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
2. People 50 years of age and older
3. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
4. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
5. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
a. Health care workers
b. Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
c. Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

When to Get Vaccinated:

Yearly flu vaccination should begin in September or as soon as vaccine is available and continue through early May. This is because the timing and duration of influenza seasons vary. While influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, influenza activity usually peaks in January or later.

By taking the simple step to get vaccinated you are helping to protect yourself, your family and others around you.


Vaccines to be used in the 2010-2011 influenza season in the U.S. contain the following:

- an A/California/7/09 (H1N1)-like virus;
* - an A/Perth /16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus;
** - a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.***

*A/California/7/09 (H1N1)-like virus is the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus. A monovalent vaccine containing this strain was made available to the United States in the fall of 2009. **A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus is a change from the 2009-2010 influenza vaccine formulation. ***and B/Brisbane /60/2008-like virus is a current vaccine virus.