Hays County Commissioners Court Proclaims December 3-9 as National Influenza Vaccination Week
Don’t give the gift of influenza this holiday season
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court urged those who have not already gotten an influenza vaccination to do so soon, and proclaimed December 3-9 as National Influenza Vaccination Week. It takes approximately two weeks for the vaccine to be at full strength in a person’s system.
“The holidays tend to create large gatherings and the cold weather drives the gatherings indoors, making winter the prime season for flu epidemics,” Schneider said. “Make sure that influenza is not one of the gifts you are passing around this holiday season.”
The best way to prevent influenza is to get an influenza vaccine each year as soon as the vaccine is available to the public, and contrary to popular myth, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. It is a dead strain of the flu that helps increase antibodies so that your body can fight off the flu better. Other ways to help prevent an outbreak include regular hand washing with soap and warm water, using your arm or sleeve to cover your coughs and sneezes, and staying home when you are feeling ill.
Hays County Local Health Department Epidemiologist Eric Schneider told the Court that despite influenza being so common that most people expect to spend two or three days with fever and chills, the truth is that it can cause serious health problems that lead to hospitalization and even death – not just for those at-risk due to youth, old age or medical conditions, but even for those considered healthy prior to contracting it.
Schneider related a recent news story about a 20-year-old, healthy woman who contracted the flu, then pneumonia, and died within a week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20,000 people in the United States died last year from complications related to influenza and pneumonia, and another 200,000 required a lengthy hospital stay.
Left to right: Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Local Health Department Director Clint Garza; Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Texas Vaccine for Children Coordinator Amelia Flores, ImmTrac Specialist Josie Gonzales, Epidemiologist Eric Schneider, Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell, and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant.