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Suffolk & Nassau Wellness Alert: Flu Shots Still Available

Observe 2013 National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 8-14) by Getting Immunized!

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Suffolk County, NY - December 6, 2013 - Noting that influenza activity usually peaks in January, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken are urging all residents who have not yet received this season’s flu vaccination to get one as soon as possible. Flu season runs from October through May.

“Influenza is a substantial public health threat, so we ask individuals to get the vaccine to protect not only themselves but also their families and the community,” said Bellone. “Once vaccinated, you can enjoy this holiday season knowing that you have taken the single best step to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu.”
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step I protecting against influenza disease.  Children under age nine may need to return for a second dose of immunization.
“Most people who become infected with the flu will suffer with fever, congestion, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches over the course of a week or two and will eventually recover completely, said Dr. Tomarken. “However, some are at greater risk for serious complications that can lead to hospitalization or even death. The flu vaccine is the best way modern medicine currently has to protect against this potentially serious disease.”
Dr. Tomarken offered the following CDC recommendations to residents:
  • Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors’ offices, clinics, local health centers, pharmacies, college health centers and places of business. Contact your health care provider today for your flu vaccine.
  • Students and adults should stay home from school or work if they develop influenza-like illness.
  • If you do get sick, wash hands often and cover your coughs and sneezes. It’s best to use a tissue and quickly throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. This will prevent the spread of germs.
  • Get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids.
  • Individuals who are particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza should seek medical attention at the first signs of illness. People at high risk for developing serious flu complications include children younger than 5 years, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, blood disorders, morbid obesity, kidney and liver disorders, HIV or AIDS, and cancer.
Residents with questions about influenza may call the Department of Health Services Hotline number 800-787-2200.
For more information, visit For flu-related questions contact
Nassau County, NY - December 6, 2013 - In recognition of National Influenza Vaccination Week which is December 8th-14th, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein remind residents that it is not too late to get a flu shot.
“National Influenza Vaccination Week provides an excellent opportunity to remind our residents of the importance of getting an annual flu vaccination,” said County Executive Mangano. "The single best way for people to protect not only themselves against flu, but their loved ones as well, is to get vaccinated against the flu every year."
“A yearly Influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza disease,” said Dr. Eisenstein. “Influenza activity can be unpredictable and differ from year to year, typically peaking in February but continuing through May.”
In the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. Rates of serious illness and death are highest among persons older than 65 years of age, children younger than 5 years and persons of any age who have medical conditions that place them at increased risk for complications from seasonal influenza.
County Executive Mangano and Health Commissioner Eisenstein remind residents to take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of influenza and other germs.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • If you are sick with a flu–like illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
For additional information about influenza and the influenza vaccine visit the CDC website at