Vaccinate Illinois Week Flu Begins Awareness Campaign

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Runny noses and whooping coughs are sickness signs no one wants. So now is the time to take pre-emptive measures to fight that contagious flu bug.

In a statement released this week, The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) advises those six months and older to get a flu shot as part of Vaccinate Illinois Week, lasting from Dec. 8th thru the 14th.

Vaccinate Illinois Week overlaps with National Influenza Week, both national health initiatives creating awareness on the importance of vaccinations each winter. January is the peak season to contract influenza, and each year the viruses evolve. Yearly vaccinations are essentially in combating these evolving flu strains.

IDPH director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck summarized the importance of getting preventative treatment. “The flu vaccine is the best protection against influenza, a potentially serious disease,” Dr. Hasbrouck said. “Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.”

In addition to runny noses and coughs, typical flu symptoms include sore throat, fever, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue and in some cases vomiting and diarrhea. If an individual experiences these flu symptoms, the IDPH recommends staying home for 24 hours until the fever is gone.

Anti-viral medication can help mitigate these symptoms and can even stop the development of more serious health complications such as bacterial infections, sinus infections, dehydration and even chronic medical problems. Pregnant women, young children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are at greater risk.

To reduce flu transmission, the IDPH suggests the following proper hygienic practices: cleaning (washing hands), covering (covering mouth when coughing or sneezing), and containing (staying home while ill).

Learn more about flu vaccination at

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