|By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)
The state Department of Health is urging residents to get a flu vaccine before the end of the month to protect against this potentially deadly illness. Last year, the Commonwealth reported 122,000 cases of flu and 258 deaths.
The flu vaccine can often diminish the severity of symptoms a person might experience should they come down with the flu. Flu vaccines are available at your doctor’s office, pharmacy, local walk-in clinic or grocery store. In addition to the flu shot, the flu nasal spray is also available this year, and both are recommended to protect yourself against the flu.
Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine each season. It takes about two weeks for the antibodies from the vaccine to develop protection against infection.
While vaccination is considered the best method of prevention, residents are also encouraged to practice healthy habits like covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, frequently washing your hands during flu season and remembering to disinfect commonly touched objects such as door knobs, light switches, countertops, cell phones and computers.
Residents who become sick with flu will experience symptoms such as fever, headache, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches.
Anyone suffering from flu should stay home and rest to avoid spreading the illness and aid in their own recovery. Additional information about staying healthy during flu season is available at www.health.pa.gov
Representative Tarah Toohil
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office