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DHH wants you to get your flu shot now

If you want to have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas you need to protect yourself against the flu.
If you want to have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas you need to protect yourself against the flu.

Wednesday the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals kicked off their annual Fight the Flu campaign.

DHH officials are urging everyone across the state to get their flu vaccination to avoid a miserable holiday season.

DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert said, "No one wants to be sick, especially during the holidays. We encourage everyone to get their seasonal flu shot to help protect not only themselves, but their families and friends as well."

Groups that are considered at higher risk for flu complications include:

·    Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
·    Adults aged 65 years of age and older
·    Pregnant women
·    American Indians and Alaskan Natives seem to be at higher risk of flu complications
·    People with Asthma
·    Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions
·    Chronic lung disease
·    Heart disease
·    Blood disorders
·     Endocrine disorders
·     Kidney disorders
·    Liver disorders
·    Metabolic disorders
·    Weakened immune system due to disease or medication
·    People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
·    People who are morbidly obese

Vaccinations are also important for health care workers and other people who live with or care for high risk individuals.  

Other people for whom vaccination is especially important are:
·    People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
·    Health care workers
·    Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 5 years of age

While the vaccine is the best protection, because the flu can spread from person-to-person through coughing, sneezing and casual contact, there are several preventive strategies everyone should practice to stop the spread of the flu. These include:
·    Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze - throw the tissue in the trash after you use it - if tissues are not available, cough or sneeze into your arm and not your hands
·    Wash your hands often with soap and water - if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
·    Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth - germs spread this way
·    Try to avoid close contact with sick people
·    If you are sick with flu, a cold or a similar illness, you should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
·    While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
For more information on the flu and how to protect yourself, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov/FightTheFlu <http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/FightTheFlu





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