January 10, 2013

Mangano & Eisenstein: Flu Cases Are on the Rise, Residents are Urged to Get Vaccinated Against the Flu


Mineola, NY - Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein today announced that reported cases of influenza continue to be widespread throughout the region.  Nassau County Department of Health recommends flu vaccination for people who have not been vaccinated this season.

County Executive Mangano stated, “It’s not too late forresidents who have not been vaccinated for influenza to obtaintheir annual flu shot. Getting vaccinated is the single best way for residents to protect not only themselves against this widespread flu, but their loved ones as well."

“Influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza viruses,” said Health Commissioner Eisenstein.  “The influenza vaccine is the best way modern medicine currently has to protect against this serious disease.  Once vaccinated, it takes about 2 weeks for the body’s immune response to fully kick in.”

Influenza season generally runs from October through May.  In the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Symptoms of influenza can include the sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, and muscle aches, as well as a cough or sore throat.  These symptoms are often similar to cold symptoms but are more severe. “Although most people will usually recover from flu, the virus poses a more serious risk for individuals younger than age two, those over 50, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic medical conditions.”

County Executive Mangano and Health Commissioner Eisenstein remind residents to take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of influenza and other germs.

  • Avoid close contact.  Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Stay home when you are sick.  If you are sick with flu–like illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your mouth and nose.  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Clean your hands.  Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

For additional information about influenza and influenza vaccine visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu