Give the gift of health this Holiday Season
The Illinois Department of Public Health encourages flu vaccinations to
protect you and your family
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[December 12, 2014]
– As we see increasing influenza activity in the state, Illinois
Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is encouraging
everyone 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine during Vaccinate
Illinois Week, December 7-13, 2014. Vaccinate Illinois Week coincides
with National Influenza Vaccination Week, a national observance
established to highlight the importance of continuing influenza
vaccination and encourage more people to be vaccinated during the
holiday season and into the new year.
“Previous flu seasons have shown the number of people being
vaccinated drops quickly after November, but this is typically when
we start seeing increased flu activity, which we currently are. If
you haven’t received your flu vaccine, it’s not too late,” said Dr.
Hasbrouck. “Know that you have taken the single best preventive
measure to help protect yourself and your loved ones this holiday
season by getting vaccinated.”
Flu activity doesn't usually peak until January or February in the
United States, and the season can last as late as May. As long as
flu viruses are circulating, vaccination can help provide
Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy
nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have
vomiting and diarrhea, but it is not typically associated with
respiratory flu. People with flu symptoms should stay home 24 hours
after the fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing
medicine). Antiviral drugs can make illness milder, shorten the
length of illness and may prevent serious complications.
Complications of the flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear
infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic
medical conditions. Pregnant women, young children, people 65 years
and older, and anyone with underlying health conditions like asthma,
diabetes, or a weakened immune system are at greater risk of
complications from infection.
One of the biggest myths about the flu is a person gets the flu from
a flu vaccine. The influenza vaccine cannot give you the flu. Why?
Because the flu shot contains killed viruses, and the nasal spray
has weakened viruses that cannot cause illness. If you get flu-like
symptoms soon after being vaccinated, it can mean you may have been
exposed to the flu before getting vaccinated, or during the two-week
period it takes the body to build up protection after vaccination.
It might also mean you are sick with another illness that causes
symptoms similar to the flu.
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Vaccination is important for health care workers and others who
live with or care for high-risk people to keep from spreading flu to
high risk people. For example, children younger than six months are
at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be
Flu shots and the nasal spray are available in many doctor’s
offices, local health departments, health clinics, pharmacies and
other health care providers. For additional information about flu
vaccinations and availability in your area, contact your local
health department or call 800-526-4372.
Currently we are seeing local flu activity in Illinois.
To reduce the spread of flu, it is also important to practice the 3
- Clean – properly wash your hands frequently
- Cover – cover your cough and sneeze
- Contain – contain your germs by staying home if you are sick
More information about influenza can be found at
[Illinois Department of Public