Kingston, NY – County Executive Mike Hein and Ulster County Commissioner of Health Dr. Carol Smith advise residents of the local flu outbreak. In recent days and weeks flu outbreaks, along with resulting doctor visits and hospitalizations, have reached a record high and residents ages six months of age and older who have not already gotten a flu vaccination are urged to get one immediately. In addition, any individuals who have flu symptoms are encouraged to contact their health care provider as soon as possible and should ask about anti-viral medications, and are also advised to stay home to avoid spreading the flu to others.
Michael P. Hein, Ulster County Executive
“A flu vaccination is the best possible defense against the flu virus and I urge residents to get a flu shot to protect themselves and those around them,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “This year we have seen an above normal number of flu cases and the flu vaccination is an important preventative health measure to help avoid any unnecessary illness. There are many locations through the county that make it convenient for individuals to receive a flu shot.”
Dr. Carol Smith, Ulster County Commissioner of Health
“Flu is currently widespread throughout New York State and Ulster County. We advise that you do all that you can to stay well this season. If you have not gotten the flu vaccine, we recommend that you do so now. The vaccine can prevent you from getting the flu or can lessen the severity of the flu, should you become infected with the flu virus. If you are sick with the flu, rest at home, stay well hydrated, avoid exposing very young children, the elderly, and family members with immune compromise or other chronic diseases. Wash your hands frequently and cover your cough. Contact your primary care provider as soon as you suspect that you may have the flu. Antiviral medications are available that can help shorten the length and severity of your illness, said Dr. Carol Smith, Ulster County Commissioner of Health.”
Influenza is a contagious disease and can include symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue and body aches. The flu virus can be much more detrimental for older adults, young children, and people who have certain chronic diseases making recovery more difficult. Flu viruses can spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing, as well as touching a surface or object that contains flu viruses and then touching your mouth or nose.
For more information on the current flu season and how to protect yourself and your family, visit the State Health Department web site at www.health.ny.gov/flu.