Spread holiday cheer, not the flu
Get your flu vaccination in time to build immunity
As the December holidays approach, state health officials urge Coloradans to protect themselves and their families by getting a flu vaccination.
“Anyone who hasn’t yet received a flu vaccination should do so now to allow their body time to build immunity before holiday celebrations get in full swing,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, medical advisor for the immunization branch at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “The influenza virus can spread easily during holiday get-togethers.”
Last year, there were 1,759 hospitalizations caused by the flu in Colorado. The single best way to protect yourself from the flu is by getting vaccinated. It takes about two weeks after getting the vaccination to build the antibodies needed to protect you from the flu.
The CDC recommends everyone over the age of six months receive a flu vaccine. People at high risk of serious complications from seasonal influenza include people 65 years and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions.
“Flu season typically peaks in January after holiday celebrations,” Herlihy said. “But we already have received reports about flu in our community, so now’s the time to get immunized.”
During holiday get-togethers, remember to take everyday actions that stop germs from spreading:
· Avoid close contact with sick people.
· If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
· Disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated.