(WBNG Binghamton) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that there is a significant increase in flu activity in the U.S. in the last two weeks. There has definitely been an early occurrence of flu activity in New York State affecting 43 counties including Tioga County.
According to a news release from the Tioga County Health Department:
Flu activity is widespread through out New York State. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get a flu vaccination, AND people from 6 months of age on up are able to get a flu vaccination.
December 2nd through 8th, 2012 is National Influenza Vaccination Week.
In observance of this week, Tioga County Health Department is encouraging people who have not been vaccinated to get vaccinated now. Although we are nearing the end of this national observance week, it’s not too late too late in the season to get your flu vaccination. Flu season typically peaks in February and can last as late as May. Call the health department for an appointment.
For millions of people every season, the flu can mean a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue, and miserable days spent in bed. However, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized in the United States from flu complications each year. The flu can also be deadly. CDC estimates that in the past 30 years, flu-associated deaths during the flu season have ranged from a low of 3,000 to a high of 49,000 people.
In addition to getting the flu vaccination, it is also important to practice good health habits:
Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow, not your hands.
Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you aren’t near a sink.
Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Flu spread that way.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Stay home when you are sick, and do not return to school or work until you have been fever-free without medication for at least 24-hours.
If you are looking for a flu clinic in Tioga County, contact Tioga County Health Department at 687-8600 and ask for more information.