Because increasing numbers of seasonal influenza have been reported throughout the area over the past three weeks, St. Joseph County health officer Dr. Thomas A. Felger is encouraging residents to protect themselves against the influenza virus.
Influenza can lead to severe complications and death, particularly in the very young and those with chronic medical conditions, according to a news release.
Signs and symptoms of the flu may include:
- extreme tiredness;
- dry cough;
- sore throat;
- runny or stuffy nose; and
- muscle aches
It is not too late to get a flu shot, the health department stresses, and the single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated.
Vaccination is a universal recommendation for anyone ages six months and older who want to decrease their risk of becoming ill or transmitting it to others, according to the news release.
The health department continues to offer flu vaccinations at the South Bend and Mishawaka clinic locations throughout the influenza season. Appointments are not required. The cost of the flu vaccine is $25, payable in cash or credit card or is billed for those with Medicare part B.
Health officials recommend individuals practice measures that help protect against the flu by following the three C’s:
- clean your hands often;
- cover your cough and sneezes; and
- contain the germs by steering clear of others who are ill and staying home if you become ill
For more information about influenza, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.CDC.gov, or you may also visit the Indiana State Department of Health website at www.ISDH. IN.gov.