Prevent, Promote, and Protect your Health with the Lake County General Health District
(440) 350-2543
5966 Heisley Rd
Mentor, Ohio 44060
August 31, 2017
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Don't Let The Flu Get You!

August 31, 2017

Bridge Column                                                                                                  CONTACT: Dawn Cole, (440) 251-9798

September 8, 2017                                                                                           LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT    

DON’T LET THE FLU GET YOU!

 If you are 65 years or older, getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from the flu. The Lake County General Health District will be holding flu clinics at the Mentor Senior Center on October 5, 2017 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and at the Fairport Senior Center on October 24, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please call the Mentor Senior Center at 440-974-5725 or the Fairport Senior Center at 440-354-3674 for appointment availability.

Everyone six months of age or older should get a flu vaccine every season. Adults aged 65 years and older are more susceptible to the flu because the immune system weakens as we age.  People 65 years and older have two flu shots available to choose from – a regular dose flu vaccine and the “high dose” vaccine designed specifically for people 65 and older resulting in a stronger immune response and possibly greater protection following vaccination. Both of these vaccines will be available at the Senior Center clinics in Mentor and Fairport. Talk to your health care provider to decide which one is right for you.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness. The flu is spread by droplets made when people infected with the flu virus cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouth or nose of those nearby. A person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose. To avoid the flu, wash your hands often with soap and water and avoid touching your face. When soap and water are not available to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

If you have flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately. Flu symptoms include:

  • 100oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • Cough and/or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches, muscle and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children

 

The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms. It can be difficult to tell the difference between them. Your health care provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine if you have the flu. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications if you get the flu.

Get your flu vaccine, not the flu. Flu shots are a covered service for Medicare and children enrolled in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program. For more information and to find a flu clinic near you, visit www.flu.gov.

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Marianne Rusnak
About the Author