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Help Prevent Seasonal Flu

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

September 26, 2014

September 26, 2014

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111


TALLAHASSEE—Flu season is almost here and the Florida Department of Health urges residents and visitors to take precautions to reduce their risk of infection. Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.

“Getting vaccinated is the single best way to protect yourself and your family against influenza,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John H. Armstrong. “I encourage all Floridians to get your flu vaccination before Halloween, wash your hands often and stay home when you are sick.”

Everyone aged six months and older should get the flu vaccine. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza, such as pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease).

It can take up to two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu. That is why it is important to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.

Symptoms of the flu may include headache, fever, severe cough, runny nose or body aches. Contact your health care provider immediately if symptoms appear. The Department offers the following prevention tips:

  • Get vaccinated every year since flu viruses change.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth since germs are spread this way.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you or your children are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, unless you need medical care.

Check with your physician, your local county health department or visit to see where flu vaccine is available in your area.

For more information, visit

To learn more about the spread of flu in Florida, visit

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. During 2014, the Department is recognizing 125 years of public health in Florida with educational opportunities and events. Please visit for more information.

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