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National Influenza Vaccination Week

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December 7 – 13, 2014 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. This message is from Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). For more information about influenza, please visit www.flu.gov/.

As we near the end of autumn, many of us begin preparing for the holiday season, but there’s something else we need to prepare for as well: flu season. This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a time to highlight the importance of getting our flu vaccine.

From missed work and school, to doctor’s visits or worse, the flu can take a big toll on your family. This season has already brought reports of serious illnesses, hospitalizations and even deaths. Thankfully, there are easy ways to fight the flu.

Take the time to get a flu vaccine and make sure you take everyday precautions against the spread of germs. Although some of the flu viruses this season are different than what’s in the vaccine, vaccination can still offer some protection and is the most important step to preventing infection from the most common flu viruses. CDC also recommends antiviral medications, as a second line of defense against the flu. Treatment with antiviral drugs is especially important for people at high risk of serious flu complications or people who are very sick with flu and work best when started within two days of the beginning of flu symptoms.

No one wants the aches, soreness and fatigue that can come with the flu, especially during the holiday season! So, get your flu vaccine and find out more about how to protect yourself and your family at CDC.gov and Flu.gov. However, if you do get sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home from work or school, so you don’t make the people near you sick, too. Everyday preventative actions like covering your cough, staying away from sick people and washing your hands often are particularly important this time of year as well.

Be well,
Secretary Burwell

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