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Public Health Emergency in Response to Severe Flu Season

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flu-virus imageNew York and Boston have both declared public health emergencies due to what is now a flu epidemic.   The New York State Department of Health Seasonal Flu page covers the latest information and news on the situation, including  Governor Cuomo’s declaration which allows pharmacies in New York State  to lower the age of children whom they can vaccinate from 18 to 6 years and older.

Reliable information on symptoms, sensible practices, vaccines, and flu activity is readily available on multiple federal web sites as well.   The Centers for Disease Control, and Health and Human Services both maintain seasonal flu information sites with the latest on the current flu season.

  • If you haven’t already been vaccinated for the flu, now’s the time. Vaccine may be limited in some areas, so try contacting more than one provider (pharmacy, health department, or doctor).   It takes 2 weeks after vaccination for you to be protected – it’s not too late!  Use the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to find a flu vaccine center near you.
  • There are three different types of flu vaccination and a nasal spray. Which is the right one for you?  Check out the Vaccine Safety page.
  • Learn more about how to care for loved ones with the flu, including people at high risk (children, seniors, and people with chronic conditions). Start by getting vaccinated, practicing healthy habits like covering your mouth and nose with a tissue (or using your sleeve and not your hand) when you cough or sneeze, and washing hands regularly.  Visit for more information.
  • Educators – help keep your classrooms free of germs.    Teach healthy habits at school to prevent flu in your classroom through the School Planning page.
  • Got the flu?  Don’t share it!   Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever goes away. Visit the Caring for Someone with the Flu page for advice.
  • FluView, a weekly report of flu activity in the U.S.,  shows what’s happening near you.

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