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Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments

For Release: _____, 2005
Contact: __________
_____ County Health Department
(Phone)

_____ County Health Department Issues Flu Shot Reminder

The _____ County Health Department today encouraged local residents who have not yet received their flu shot to get one now to make certain they are protected against influenza this winter.

“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 _____.

Flu vaccine is still available at the _____ County Health Department on (fill in days and times flu shots will be available following regularly scheduled flu vaccine clinics).

The symptoms of influenza start suddenly and typically include a fever of 100 F. or higher, chills, headache, sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, extreme tiredness, and body aches. Most people with influenza will recover completely in one to two weeks; however, some persons may develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia. Influenza is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, sending highly contagious droplets into the air.

“The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot,” said _____. “Practicing good health habits, however, can also help prevent the flu.”

S/he suggested the following prevention tips:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
  • If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

Health officials suggest that persons 65 and older and those with chronic health conditions should ask their doctor if they should be vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia, which is a common and potentially serious complication of the flu. Unlike the influenza vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine does not need to be given every year. This vaccine is available at physicians’ offices and the _____ County Health Department.

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