For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 12, 2018
Residents can protect emergency resources by getting their flu vaccine
San Rafael, CA – Flu season has come earlier than usual this year, with 176 positive influenza tests in Marin County hospitals from October 2017 through December 2017 compared with 128 during the same period last year, according to the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.
“The influenza vaccination is the best way to protect your family from complications of influenza,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s Health Officer. “It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Even if the vaccine does not prevent you from getting the flu, it will make it less likely for you to become seriously ill or require hospitalization.”
Symptoms of the flu include fever that last three or four days, severe muscle or body aches, chills, severe chest discomfort and cough, headaches and fatigue. Along with Marin County’s Emergency Medical Services Agency, Marin Public Health recommends that residents who are not seriously ill stay home, drink fluids, and take medicine for fever. People should monitor their own symptoms and contact their medical provider if symptoms are getting worse.
“For children and adults with the flu, the best thing they can do is stay home and rest,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Public Health Officer. “If they are worried about their condition, they should call their medical provider. Going to the hospital strains emergency resources and decreases our ability to provide prompt, emergent care for those most in need.”
The flu strain A(H3N2) that is circulating in Marin is known to cause more hospitalizations and deaths. People at higher risk for complications should contact their medical providers if they develop flu symptoms. This includes those with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, children under age 2 and those 65 and over.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends that all patients with suspected or confirmed influenza who are hospitalized, severely ill, or, at higher risk for complications should treated with flu antiviral medication.
Health officials recommend that people take the following additional steps to protect themselves and loved ones from the flu:
For more information about influenza visit marinflu.org or the CDPH influenza web page. To find a flu vaccine at a location near you, visit marinflu.org or the Vaccine Finder.
Dr. Matthew WillisPublic Health OfficerHealth and Human Services
3240 Kerner Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94901(415) 473-4163Email: Dr. Matthew WillisMarin HHS website