The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designated the week of December 8-14 as National Influenza Vaccination Week. In fact, the 9th of December is Children's Vaccination Day. This announcement is designed to highlight the importance of flu vaccination. It is not too late to protect yourself and your family. While there has already been sporadic flu activity in Wisconsin, the peak incidence of flu typically occurs in January and February before tapering off in March.
The flu is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract and it can be a serious illness. The flu kills more Americans every year than all other vaccine-preventable diseases combined. Symptoms can include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are also common symptoms in children. Flu is often confused with a common cold but flu symptoms are usually more severe and complications can result in death. Children have the highest chance of getting sick from the flu because their immune systems are less developed.
It is recommended that everyone over the age of six months get a flu shot. Call the North Shore Health Department at 371-2980 to schedule an appointment or if you have questions about the flu vaccine. There is a good supply of thimerosal free vaccine available for children (and adults) if you are concerned about the preservative.