The first two cases of influenza have been confirmed in Coconino County for the 2018 – 2019 flu season. The individuals have recovered from the illness.
The reported cases prompted Public Health officials to remind citizens to receive flu shots.
“Influenza can be a serious disease. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and then spread it to others. The first confirmed flu cases of the season are an important reminder for everyone to get vaccinated to protect themselves and to protect others,” said Marie Peoples, Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) Chief Health Officer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first step in protecting against flu viruses. It is strongly recommended that everyone 6 months old and over get a flu shot each year.
Flu shots are available at the CCPHSD Clinic, 2625 N. King Street, Flagstaff, Monday – Friday, 8 – 11 a.m. and noon – 5 p.m., on an appointment basis. Walk-ins are accepted as availability permits. Call the CCPHSD Clinic at 928-679-7222 to make an appointment.
Every year a new vaccine is manufactured to combat circulating influenza viruses during each flu season. While it is too early to determine the effectiveness of this season’s vaccine, immunization reduces the chance of influenza-related complications, such as hospitalization, chronic disease, and/or death. The immune system will be better prepared to combat the flu the earlier people get their shot.
The following groups of people are encouraged to get a flu vaccination 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, including:
- Pregnant women
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- Children with special healthcare needs
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu.
- Health care workers
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
- Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
Flu symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches and fatigue. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes and can cause death.
In addition to getting a seasonal flu shot, good health habits will help you stay well. These simple actions can stop the spread of germs and help protect you and others from getting sick:
- Wash hands frequently during the flu season.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth with your upper sleeve or with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Don’t share eating utensils, cups and straws.
- Stay home when you are sick.