SOMERVILLE, NJ - Have you been noticing how many people appear to be under the weather? It could be just a cold or it could be the flu, especially since the New Jersey Department of Health reports flu activity is high in Somerset County, and in all areas of New Jersey. If you haven’t gotten a flu shot this season, now is the time!
Freeholder Patricia L. Walsh, public health & safety division liaison, invites Somerset County adults age 18 and older to take advantage of one of the following opportunities to protect themselves against the flu with a free flu shot:
- Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 4 to 6 p.m. at theSomerset County Human Services Building, 27 Warren St., Somerville, NJ 08876
- Thursday, Feb. 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. at theFranklin Township Public Library, 485 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873.
The clinics are being hosted by the Somerset County Health Department.
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Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu, especially very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.
Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits and missed days from work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. It takes about two weeks for the body to develop an immune response, so the sooner you are vaccinated, the better.
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot by the end of October each year, if possible. However, getting vaccinated later is OK. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends ongoing flu vaccination as long as influenza viruses are circulating. Seasonal flu activity can continue to occur as late as May.
Influenza, commonly called the "flu,” can be serious. It is a contagious viral infection that mostly affects the respiratory system: nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. In some cases, people may experience vomiting and diarrhea.
In addition to getting vaccinated, you and your loved ones can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.
For information on flu clinics, contact the Somerset County Department of Health at (908) 231-7155 or HealthDept@co.somerset.nj.us.