The Florida Department of Health in Manatee County urges residents to vaccinate against the flu if they haven’t already.
Going into the summer, the department is observing a “higher-than-normal” amount of diagnosed flu cases in the area and across the state.
While some flu activity can last until May, it is uncommon for cases to surge in June. Usually, flu season peaks between December and February.
“The flu vaccine is safe and the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones,” Department of Health Communications Director Christopher Tittel said Wednesday in a press release.
Residents can get a flu vaccination at the Department of Health in Manatee County, 410 Sixth Avenue East, Bradenton.
Cost is $25 for the basic shot and $59 for the high dose, and vaccinations are free for children and young adults between 6 months and 19 years old. The department can assist with costs for those who qualify for their assistance program.
All patients must bring a photo ID and insurance card. Each patient will be given a receipt to submit to insurance.
Residents can also visit a local pharmacy or schedule an appointment with their primary care doctor to get the vaccine as well.
In addition to protecting yourself, Tittel said, receiving the flu vaccine helps prevent the flu virus from spreading to our most vulnerable populations, including older adults, pregnant women, children ages newborn to five, and people who have existing medical conditions like asthma.
Here are tips from the Centers for Disease Control on how to know if you have the flu and prevent it from spreading:
How to stop the spread
Frequently washing your hands
Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home, school or office
Coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and avoid touching your face
Stay home from work or school if you are feeling ill
How to tell if you have the flu or just a common cold
|Signs and Symptoms||Cold||Influenza (Flu)|
|Fever||Rare||Common; lasts 3-4 days|
|Aches||Slight||Common; often severe|
|Chest discomfort, cough||Mild to moderate; hacking cough||Common; can be severe|
How the flu spreads
- Person to Person: People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. A person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
Flu complications that are moderate, serious, and life-threatening
Sinus and ear infections ( moderate)
Pneumonia ( serious )
Inflammation of the heart or myocarditis ( serious)
Multi-organ failure or example, respiratory and kidney failure ( serious)
Flu virus infection of the respiratory tract can trigger an extreme inflammatory response in the body and can lead to sepsis ( life-threatening )
Additional information on the flu virus also known as Influenza is sourced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.