Residents Encouraged to Get a Flu Vaccine
With flu season right around the corner, the City of Evanston's Health and Human Services Department is encouraging everyone six months of age or older to get a flu vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has determined that in addition to the flu shot, the nasal spray flu vaccine is now also a recommended option for influenza vaccination. During the past two flu seasons, the nasal spray was not recommended due to concern about its effectiveness.
Community members can find locations where the flu vaccine is available at vaccinefinder.org. Getting a flu vaccine is the best line of defense when it comes to protecting yourself, and those around you, from getting the flu. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body. The flu season typically starts around October, so it’s best to get vaccinated now, before flu season begins. Flu activity usually peaks between December and February, though activity can last as late as May.
The flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States. The majority of hospitalizations and deaths occur in people 65 years and older, but even healthy young children and younger adults can have severe disease or even die from influenza.
Flu symptoms can include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, or fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
On average, it takes about two days after being exposed to the flu virus before symptoms begin. However, you can pass the flu to someone roughly a day before you start experiencing those symptoms, and up to five to seven days after becoming sick.
To reduce the spread of influenza and other illnesses this winter, the Health and Human Services Department reminds residents that in addition to getting a flu shot, they should practice the 3 C's:
- Clean - Properly wash your hands frequently
- Cover - Cover your cough and sneeze
- Contain - Contain your germs by staying home if you are sick
For more information, please contact the Evanston Health and Human Services Department by calling/texting 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.