The first hospitalized flu case for the current flu season in Pueblo has been confirmed, with two other hospitalized cases likely. Pueblo health officials are urging residents to be proactive about warding off the flu.
“This confirms what we had suspected, that flu is in the Pueblo area,” Jody Carrillo, RN, said. “It’s important to get an annual flu shot to protect yourself from the influenza virus, it’s not too late.” Carrillo is the BSN director of the Disease Prevention and Emergency Preparedness Division at the Pueblo City-County Health Department.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone over six months of age receives a flu shot. It is particularly important for those who are at high risk of developing flu-related complications, and also for those who either live or work around people susceptible to flu-related complicated. Parents of children under the age of nine are encouraged to check with their provider about whether one flu shot is sufficient or if a second one is necessary.
For people over the age of 65, a new product has been introduced to provide better protection. The new vaccine, the Fluzone High-Dose, contains four times the amount of antigen—the part of the vaccine that prompts the production of antibodies—than regular flu vaccines.
The vaccine is available at doctors’ offices, pharmacies and grocery stores around Pueblo, and also contains H1N1 virus protection. The Pueblo City-County Health Department will not be having any flu shot clinics this year.
Along with getting a flu shot, taking simple actions such as hand-washing to stop the spread of germs will help with flu prevention.
Understanding the flu symptoms and taking action if they arise is also recommended to keep the flu from spreading. Common symptoms, which generally start suddenly, include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, chills and fatigue.
“When you experience symptoms of the flu, stay home until 24 hours after your fever is gone, without the help of fever-reducing medicine,” Carrillo said.
For additional information, call 583-4320 for the health department’s recorded flu hotline.