TOPEKA – Influenza season is underway, and a flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and those around you. Last flu season, 117 people in Kansas died as a direct result of the flu. Vaccinations are available now.
It is important for everyone 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine each year to help prevent against the flu and to protect from spreading it to others. It is especially important for people at high risk of developing a flu-related complication to get vaccinated. This includes; children under 5; adults 65 years and older; pregnant women, and up to two weeks post-partum; and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during this season. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to provide protection against infection.
There are several flu vaccine options for the 2015-2016 flu season. For information about the different vaccine options visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm
This year, KDHE has created signs that can be downloaded from our website to emphasize the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of germs. In partnership with the Department of Administration, these signs will be posted in all state office building restrooms to remind employees of this important prevention measure. Other healthy habits during cold and flu season include covering your sneeze and cough, staying home when sick, disinfecting surfaces and washing your hands often.
For more information about influenza and the flu vaccine, visit www.cdc.gov.
Hand washing signs are available here: http://www.kdheks.gov/flu/download.html.