FLORENCE – Influenza season has officially started in Pinal County.
The first case of influenza for this season has been identified in a male resident from the Apache Junction area. This case was mild and the individual did not need to be hospitalized.
“This is a reminder that it is time to get your flu shot” said Tom Schryer, Director of Public Health. “Vaccination is the best defense against influenza and not only protects you but those around you.”
Vaccine is widely available throughout the county. Residents can check with their medical provider or pharmacist to receive vaccine. Seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age.
The virus that causes influenza spreads from one person to another through coughing and sneezing as well as through direct contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Symptoms usually appear one to four days after exposure and include fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and body aches.
Some people are at higher risk for severe disease including:
- Persons 50 years of age and older
- Pregnant women
- Persons with chronic medical conditions
- Persons with weakened immune systems
For people in these groups vaccination is particularly important. Additionally, people that care for those at higher risk should strongly consider vaccination to keep from spreading the virus to others.
If you believe you might have influenza:
- Stay home from work or school
- Get rest and drink fluids
- Cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing
- Wash your hands often
- Contact a medical provider if you have a chronic medical condition or experience complications
For more information about influenza go to; http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ or call your healthcare provider.