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David Morgan
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The Best Way to Protect the Ones You Love from Flu

September 18, 2014 - Immunization - Awareness

Just driving around town, you can see the signs. “Get Your Flu Shots Here”, “Flu Shots: No Appointment Needed”, and so on.

It means flu season is coming whether we like it or not. Seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue as late as May, and the problem is it’s not possible to predict what this flu season will be like.

Flu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another.

That’s why the New Mexico Department of Health and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, missed work due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

During the 2013-2014 flu season, the Department of Health identified 235 pneumonia and influenza-related deaths in New Mexico. Pneumonia is a common complication of flu.

CDC estimates nationwide that from the 1976-1977 season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 Americans. And each year it’s estimated that more than 200,000 people are hospitalized because of flu-related complications.

It’s especially important for some people to get vaccinated, including:

  • People who are at high risk of developing serious complications (like pneumonia) if they get sick with the flu.
  • People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People younger than 5 years (and especially those younger than 2), and people 65 years and older.

There will be opportunities in Las Cruces, Silver City, Alamogordo and surrounding areas for no cost flu vaccinations for uninsured residents starting next month, and this column will be one of your best sources for times and locations.

But if you are lucky enough to have medical insurance, most plans cover flu shots at no cost to you as well. Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever before. Vaccines are available in a variety of locations from your doctor to your local pharmacy, and they are available now.

The New Mexico Department of Health recommends that people get vaccinated against flu soon after vaccine becomes available because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

Once you get vaccinated, you and your loved ones can take everyday preventive steps like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs to reduce your chances of getting the flu.

But it all starts with getting your flu shot!

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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La Mejor Manera de Proteger a sus Seres Queridos de la Gripe