Department of Public Health
Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Tuesday, Dec. 5 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Andover Health Division Reminds Residents to Get Vaccinated After Recent Spike in Flu Viruses
ANDOVER — After a recent increase in flu and flu-like illness in Massachusetts and with National Influenza Vaccination Week around the corner, the Andover Health Division is reminding the community to get their flu shots.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), several flu activity indicators are higher than expected for this time of year. Although it’s still too early to predict, the CDC says that this flu season, which typically peaks in January and February in the Northeast and lasts through March, may have an early peak.
National Influenza Vaccination Week focuses on highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination and will be recognized Dec. 3-9 to remind people that even though the holiday season is underway, it is not too late to get vaccinated.
“It is not too late to get your flu shot,” said Thomas Carbone, Andover Director of Public Health. “We are strongly encouraging residents, especially those who are at a high risk of contracting the flu, and who are around young children or the elderly, to get vaccinated. And, everyone should be practicing good health habits to avoid the spread of germs.”
Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Any number of these symptoms may be present and residents are advised to call their doctor for medical advice.
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the best way to prevent flu illness and serious flu complications, including hospitalization. Residents should also follow these tips to avoid getting sick:
- Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
- Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
If anyone has not received the vaccine and would like to, the Andover Health Division still has vaccine available. Please contact the Andover Health Division at 978-623-8640 to arrange for an appointment.