With influenza continuing to be widespread throughout Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services reminds people to take precautions to avoid getting and spreading the disease. The state health commissioner, Dr. John Hellerstedt, filmed two short messages encouraging everyone 6 months old and older to get vaccinated and stressing the importance of good hygiene.
Vaccination can provide protection against flu as long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness. Vaccination is especially important for adults over 65, children under 5, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions because they are at greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. People can find out where flu shots are available at texasflu.org or by contacting their health care provider.
Influenza is a contagious disease caused by one of a number of related viruses. Flu symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches and fatigue. The onset of symptoms is sudden and people should stay home until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to get medical care. People experiencing symptoms are encouraged to seek treatment promptly. Antiviral drugs may shorten the duration or lessen the severity of the flu if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
People can help stop the spread of flu by getting vaccinated, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when they’re sick.