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Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments

For Release: April __, 2003
Contact: (Administrator)
________ County Health Department
(Telephone #)

Get Your Flu Shot

The _____ County Health Department today again urged people to get a flu shot to protect themselves against a viral wintertime respiratory illness that can be fatal.

“We urge those that have not yet received their flu shot, especially older adults and those in high-risk groups, to do so as soon as possible,” said _____ County Health Department Administrative Director _____.

The Oklahoma Influenza Surveillance System is reporting a significant increase in influenza activity in the state, particularly among children. Health officials say the influenza vaccine should be given to the following high-risk groups of children 6 months of age and older to reduce their risk of severe disease or death:

those with chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma;
those who need regular medical care or had to be in a hospital because of metabolic diseases (especially diabetes), chronic kidney disease or weakened immune system; and
those who are on long-term aspirin therapy.

The _____ County Health Department also encourages influenza vaccine for all children to reduce the spread of the disease in the population. Children under 9 who are receiving flu vaccine for the first time need to receive two doses of vaccine given at least a month apart.

Influenza, or flu, is a viral respiratory illness marked by the sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, severe malaise, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches. Symptoms can last several days to several weeks. The illness is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, sending the highly contagious virus into the air.

_____ said that in addition to getting the influenza vaccination, persons can help prevent the spread of influenza by washing their hands regularly, covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and staying home from school or work when sick.

Influenza vaccination clinics are scheduled as follows: (date/time/location)
___________________________________________________________.

For more information, call the _____ County Health Department at (phone number).

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