For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Janet Berreman, MD, Health Officer, (510) 981-5300

IT'S NOT TOO LATE FOR A FLU SHOT

Berkeley, California (Monday, January 13, 2014) - With the flu virus on the rise locally and throughout California, Berkeley Public Health advises residents to get a flu shot.

The increase of influenza activity has followed normal seasonal patterns, and it is expected to increase substantially in the coming weeks and months. However, the predominant strain in California is H1N1 - one of the strains included in this year's flu vaccine targets.

The H1N1 virus has been observed to cause more illness in children and young adults compared to older adults, although severe illness has been seen in all age groups.

Though there have been no reported flu-related deaths in Berkeley, there have been several confirmed flu related deaths statewide.

A yearly flu shot, which is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, is the most important step in preventing influenza. A flu shot is especially important for pregnant women and other people at higher risk for severe influenza.

Unlike other vaccine preventable diseases, it is necessary to get a flu shot every year. Once vaccinated, it takes approximately two weeks before you are fully protected against the flu.

If you become ill, you can take actions to stop the spread of germs, including:

• Stay home when you are sick
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sneeze into the inside of your elbow
• Wash your hands frequently with soap/water
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Residents of Berkeley who have  health insurance (i.e. Kaiser, Med-Cal, Blue Cross Managed Care, etc.) should first check with their regular health care provider to receive the flu vaccine.  Flu shots are also available at many pharmacies.

Flu shots are available at the City of Berkeley Public Health Clinic during the flu season, for community members 3 years of age and older (those between 6 months and 3 years of age needing a vaccination can call 981-5300 for help locating a source)

Berkeley Public Health Immunization Clinic at 830 University Avenue

Mondays: 9:00 - 11:00 AM & 1:00 - 4:00 PM 

For more information, call the City of Berkeley Public Health Clinic at (510) 981-5350, or the Nurse of the Day at (510) 981-5300.

 

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