Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Stay Flu-Free This Holiday Season

(NAPSI)-The flu is nothing to sneeze at, so it's a good idea this flu season to protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated.

"Everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated," says Jeanne Santoli, deputy director of immunization services at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "especially those considered to be at higher risk. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is by getting your annual flu vaccine."

Flu Facts

Many Americans are not aware of the true dangers of the flu. On average, every year, influenza:

• Infects 60 million people

• Hospitalizes 200,000 people

• Kills more Americans than breast cancer

• Kills two to three times more Americans than HIV/AIDS.

The influenza activity report recently released by the CDC found that 92 percent of the pediatric deaths resulting from influenza were in children who weren't vaccinated. Each year, the influenza strains change, but fortunately, vaccinations against influenza are also updated each year to protect against the current strains.

Find Help

This holiday season, whether you want a flu vaccination for an elderly parent, a child or yourself, you can turn to a free online resource created by Maxim Health Systems, www.FindaFluShot.com/clinic. There, you can find the nearest flu clinic and the dates and times that vaccinations are available. You can also sign up to receive e-mail notifications reminding you to get your flu shot. The newly designed site is even accessible from mobile devices.

Further Steps

In addition, the CDC says you can reduce your risk of catching the flu by:

• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

• Washing your hands often

• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth

• Getting plenty of sleep

• Being physically active

• Drinking plenty of fluids

• Eating nutritious food.

Learn More

To learn more, call (866) 534-7330 or visit www.FindaFluShot.com/clinic.

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