Poughkeepsie … With a notable increase in flu cases reported statewide, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health reminds residents of the importance of flu vaccination.
“We are seeing an increase in flu cases both nationwide and throughout New York State,” said Commissioner A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH. “It is important for anyone six months of age and older to be vaccinated against the flu, especially those who are pregnant or at higher risk for complications.”
Dr. Vaidian said to prevent transmission of illness to those who cannot be vaccinated, vaccination is recommended for close contacts such as caregivers and family members of infants less than six months of age. In addition, for those who are allergic to eggs, there is a flu vaccine available that does not involve eggs.
“It is not too late to get your flu shot, and fortunately, flu vaccine is readily available in our area. Even as we face new flu strains each year, the best way we can defend our health is to get vaccinated, wash our hands, cover our cough, and stay home when we are sick,” said Dr. Vaidian. “If you have a high-risk condition like heart disease or diabetes, and you become ill due to the flu virus, your provider can prescribe antiviral medication to help reduce your symptoms. Antivirals work best when given at the early onset of symptoms.”
Flu vaccination is available at healthcare providers, pharmacies, and health centers. To find out more about the flu, or to find a convenient flu vaccination location, visit DutchessNY.gov/Flu.