Amid news that New York is among 25 states now reporting widespread seasonal flu activity, Westchester County officials are offering one last chance to get this season’s flu vaccination.
“Flu season is picking up throughout the state, so I encourage residents to get a free flu shot at this clinic for themselves and their families,” said County Executive Rob Astorino in a press release. “It’s not too late to get a flu shot.’’
The Westchester County Department of Health will offer free flu shots to residents at a walk-in clinic from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Nepperhan Community Center, 342 Warburton Ave. in Yonkers.
The health department has 150 doses which can be given to adults and children ages 9 and up. Since flu season began on Oct. 1, the health department has given out more than 1,000 flu shots at 16 flu clinics.
Flu season runs from October through May, but usually peaks in January and February.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older. Children under age nine may need to return for a second dose of immunization.
“We hope residents will take advantage of this opportunity, because flu season can last well into the spring,” said Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. “If you do get sick, do yourself, your coworkers and your friends a favor and stay home to avoid spreading your germs. Most people will recover on their own from the flu with no need to go to a doctor’s office.
To prevent spreading the flu, cough or sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands often with soap and water. If you do get a respiratory infection, stay home until 24 hours after your fever subsides, to avoid spreading your germs.
Clean surfaces you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones. Get plenty of rest, exercise and eat healthy food.
“It’s also important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before eating and after using the toilet or blowing your nose and to cough into your sleeve,” Amler said.
The CDC offers these recommendations:
- Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors’ offices, clinics, local health centers, pharmacies, college health centers and places of business. Contact your health care provider today for your flu vaccine.
- Students and adults should stay home from school or work if they develop influenza-like illness.
- Get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids.
- Individuals who are particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza should seek medical attention at the first signs of illness. People at high risk for developing serious flu complications include children younger than 5 years, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, blood disorders, morbid obesity, kidney and liver disorders, HIV or AIDS, and cancer.
Residents with questions about the flu can visit the health department at its website at www.westchestergov.com/health, on Facebook at facebook.com/wchealthdept, or call (914) 813-5000.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov. For flu-related questions contact FluInbox@cdc.gov.
Patch editor Ryan Bonner contributed to this report.