ITHACA, N.Y. — It is flu season and Tompkins County often experiences a peak of flu illness during January and February when holiday travelers return to the area. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu viruses. If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet, now’s the time!
The flu can make even healthy people very sick. It can also cause serious complications for children younger than 5, pregnant women, people 65 years and older and people with certain chronic health conditions. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and death.
There are many signs of flu that can come on suddenly, including fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches. However, there are also signs of complications and emergency warning signs that are important to know.
Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish lips or face
Ribs pulling in with each breath
Chest and severe muscle pain
Fever above 104°F
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Persistent dizziness or confusion
If people are experiencing these warning signs, seek medical care right away. More symptoms are described on the CDC website.
There are many opportunities in the community for flu vaccination including health care provider offices, pharmacies, and the Tompkins County Health Department; call first to confirm. It’s important to remember that if flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to get vaccinated.
For more information call 607-274-6604 or go to www.tompkinscountyny.gov/health.