In the past several weeks, there has been a marked increase in Emergency Department visits in Los Angeles County for respiratory illness (fever, cough, or sore throat). Influenza has been gradually increasing, with an expected peak in February. There is still time to vaccinate before influenza peaks in Los Angeles. Since Since October 1, 2012, there have been 2,257 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations <http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm#HS > and 18 pediatric deaths nationwide. These deaths are stark reminders of the importance of protecting our youngest residents. Family members and individuals in close contact with infants under 6 months should be vaccinated against the flu, creating a "cocoon" of protection.
Each year the flu shot and nasal spray are updated to protect against the three flu viruses that surveillance indicates will be most common. This year’s flu vaccine is made from three viruses: the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza A virus, an H3N2 influenza A, and influenza B virus.
BCHD advises Beach Cities residents to follow flu vaccination guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov ), which recommend everyone 6 months of age and older to be vaccinated.
Vaccinations are most important for at-risk populations including those age 65 and older, children younger than 2 years old, and people of any age who have chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure, lung disease). However, healthy individuals can become infected with the flu without having symptoms, which makes them carriers who can infect others without them knowing.
Remind your friends and relatives to get vaccinated by sending an ‘e-card ’ from the CDC website.
Flu Shot Locator
Find any location offering flu vaccinations here.
Free vaccine locations for those without health insurance
Trusted Public Health Resources:
Comprehensive government-wide information on seasonal, H1N1 (swine), H5N1 (bird) and pandemic influenza for the general public, health and emergency preparedness professionals, policy makers, government and business leaders, school systems, and local communities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
California Department of Public Health
Los Angeles County Department of Public Heatlh
Tips to Stop Spreading the Flu: