The current influenza season is expected to be particularly severe, according to public health officials in the Southern Hemisphere. Flu activity south of the Equator offers a good indication of coming flu activity in the Northern Hemisphere.
“It’s never too late to get a flu shot,” said Dr. Gail Newel, health officer for San Benito County. “It’s impossible to get the flu from the flu shot. Everyone six months of age and older, including pregnant women, should get the flu shot at the beginning of every flu season.”
Flu activity reaches its highest levels between December and February, and can continue through May. However, flu activity has not yet peaked in the United States.
Getting the flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself against the different flu strains that are circulating in the community.
You can get the flu vaccine locally at:
- Your healthcare provider
- Public Health Services office at 439 Fourth Street in Hollister
The local health services office offers flu vaccine on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. No appointments are necessary. Flu vaccine is offered while supplies last.
In addition to getting the flu vaccine, public health officials advise people to take the following steps to protect themselves and loved ones from the flu, as well as from other respiratory illnesses:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Stay home when you or family members are sick, and stay home until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours