Protect Yourself this Flu Season

(Ithaca, NY – January 7, 2020) – It is flu season and Tompkins County often experiences a peak of flu illness during January and February when holiday travelers return to the area. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu viruses. If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet, now’s the time!


The flu can make even healthy people very sick. It can also cause serious complications for children younger than 5, pregnant women, people 65 years and older and people with certain chronic health conditions. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work due to flu, as well as prevent flu -related hospitalizations and death.


There are many signs of flu that can come on suddenly, including fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches. However, there are also signs of complications and emergency warning signs that are important to know.


In children:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing

  • Bluish lips or face

  • Ribs pulling in with each breath

  • Chest and severe muscle pain

  • Dehydration Fever above 104°F

In adults:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • Persistent dizziness or confusion

  • Seizures

If people are experiencing these warning signs, seek medical care right away. More symptoms are described on the CDC website


There are many opportunities in the community for flu vaccination including health care provider offices, pharmacies, and the Tompkins County Health Department; call first to confirm. It’s important to remember that if flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. 


For more information call 607-274-6604 or go to www.tompkinscountyny.gov/health.


Find us on Facebook @TompkinsPublicHealth and Twitter@TompkinsHealth.

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