The Public Health Division of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency is reminding residents that flu season is ramping up. "Thanksgiving week was the first week this fall that the numbers of people in the U.S. who saw their healthcare providers for flu-like symptoms were higher than baseline, heralding the onset of the flu season," said El Dorado County Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams. "Vaccination can prevent the flu."
"We recommend that everyone be vaccinated against the flu annually," added Williams. "If you haven't done so already, now is a perfect time." The flu vaccine should still be available from most doctors' offices and pharmacies. For residents who are uninsured or on Medi-Cal, El Dorado County Public Health is offering the flu vaccine by appointment for $10 per vaccination. No one is turned away due to inability to pay. For an appointment with Public Health, call (530) 621-6100 in Placerville or (530) 573-3155 in South Lake Tahoe.
Williams emphasized that people at risk for complications from the flu, and their close contacts, are especially encouraged to be vaccinated. Those individuals include children younger than age 5, adults age 65 and older, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (asthma and other lung disease, diabetes, neurological conditions, and heart disease), and people who are morbidly obese, as well as healthcare personnel and others who live or work with these at-risk persons. Individuals must be at least 6 months of age to receive the influenza vaccine.
In addition to being vaccinated, everyone can prevent the spread of flu by keeping their hands washed, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when sick, and covering their coughs. For more information about the flu vaccine and Public Health services, visit: www.edcgov.us/publichealth.
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