Planning your holiday dinners in advance? Plan to get your flu shot too! Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) is urging residents to get vaccinated against the flu as soon as possible, as the infection has already started spreading in Metro Atlanta.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu, so it’s important to get the vaccine before holiday gatherings increase the risk of spreading the flu.
“It’s easy and convenient for residents to get a flu vaccine,” said Priti Kohle, director of immunizations at Cobb & Douglas Public Health. “We offer flu shots at our Marietta, Douglas, East Cobb and Acworth public health centers and there’s no appointment needed. It’s a minor commitment to staying healthy throughout the holidays.”
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) reminds Georgians that the best protection against the flu is a flu vaccine. Other things you can do to help protect against flu include:
- Frequent and thorough hand-washing. Alcohol based gels are the next best thing if there is no access to soap and water.
- Covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing to help prevent the spread of the flu. Use a tissue or cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or arm.
- Avoid touching your face as flu germs can get into the body through mucus membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes.
- If you are sick, stay home from school or work. Flu sufferers should be free of fever without the use of a fever reducer for at least 24 hours before returning.
Influenza can be a serious disease that leads to hospitalization and sometimes death. Regardless of race, age, gender or ethnicity, anyone can get sick from the flu. Those especially at risk are adults 65 years of age and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other long-term medical conditions.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, chills and fatigue. One of the most pronounced flu symptoms is an overall feeling of achiness that comes on quickly.
For more information about immunization services at CDPH, please visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org or call 770-514-2300.
You can also track flu activity in Georgia at dph.georgia.gov/flu-activity-georgia. The page is updated weekly. For more information about flu and how to prevent it, log on to flu.gov.
About Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Cobb & Douglas Public Health, along with the Georgia Department of Public Health, has been committed to the mission of “Healthier Lives. Healthier Community.” since 1920. We are dedicated to improving our residents’ quality of life by tracking and preventing the spread of disease, promoting health and safety, providing exceptional medical services, and ensuring that our community is prepared for public health emergencies. For more information, visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org.