As flu season approaches, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging all North Carolina residents to protect themselves by getting vaccinated against the flu.
“It’s not too early,” said Acting State Health Director Dr. Megan Davies, M.D. “The last three flu seasons have begun early in North Carolina, so we don’t want people to wait too long.”
During the past 2014-2015 season, North Carolina recorded its highest number of flu-associated deaths in the past six years. This is a reminder that flu can be a serious illness, especially for adults over 65, children younger than 5, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.
“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family from getting the flu,” said Dr. Davies. “This year’s flu vaccines protect against the H1N1 virus and other flu strains that are expected to be in our state during the coming season.”
In addition to vaccination, DHHS encourages everyone to use precautions to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses:
• Wash hands frequently, preferably with soap and water or an approved hand sanitizer.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly.
•If you are sick with flu, stay home until you have been fever free for at least 24 hours.
For more information on flu and to find out where you can get a flu vaccination in your community, visit www.flu.nc.gov.