The Chesapeake Health Department would like you to be aware of the early start to flu season this year. The state of Virginia has seen a rapid increase in the amount of flu activity the last couple of weeks, including numerous outbreaks affecting schools and daycare centers. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also reported that nationwide this is the earliest regular flu season we've had in nearly a decade, since the 2003-2004 flu season. The type of flu that is being seen is also a concern. The majority of the strains or type of flu is type "A", H3N2 and in years when we have see H3 as the predominant strain they have tended to be our worst years for flu. The good news is that this strain is a good "match" to this year's vaccine, so if you or your children haven't already gotten vaccinated it is a good time to do so. The vaccine is still available at the health department, your doctor's office and also local pharmacies. It takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to fully work, so please don't hesitate. With the holiday season approaching and travel taking place it gives more opportunities for the flu to be transmitted.
The Chesapeake Health Department is now offering flu vaccines for the 2012-2013 season in its regular outpatient clinics. Flu clinics are conducted on a walk in basis (no appointment needed) at the following location and times.
Chesapeake Health Department
Patients are asked to bring their insurance cards. All insurance plans are accepted. The cost of the vaccine is $25.00
For more information please call 382-8609.
With winter and the holidays comes cold and flu season. We see different people, more people, and tend to stay in warm, confined places. All of these things can lead to more sicknesses. Often when people become ill during the winter, they assume they have "the flu." While symptoms for some of these illnesses are "flu-like," the cause may not be influenza. Here is a list of common winter symptoms and the viruses that can cause them:
Respiratory symptoms (congestion, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat) can be caused by:
Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, nausea, diarrhea) can be caused by:
Only two of the viruses mentioned above (influenza and rotavirus) are currently preventable by immunization. Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, getting enough rest, staying home when ill, coughing into your elbow, and eating a well-balanced diet may decrease your chances of getting sick or passing an illness to others.
And remember, if you think you have "the flu," you may not actually have influenza!