Health Division Encourages Healthy Habits to Prevent Flu

Oakland County Health Division encourages residents to practice healthy habits to prevent the spread of flu. Although it is late in the season, flu continues to circulate in the community. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, this is the longest flu season in the last 10 years. There have been 3,685 flu cases, 174 hospitalizations and nine adult flu-associated deaths reported to the Health Division in Oakland County since October.

“While flu is most common in the fall and winter, it can still be detected during the summer months,” said Leigh Anne Stafford, health officer for the Health Division. “Get vaccinated every year and practice healthy hygiene habits such as washing hands often.”

The Health Division recommends these preventive actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

Vulnerable individuals are at greater risk of getting the flu and having it become a life-threatening illness. Those who are at a higher risk of flu complications are children younger than five years, pregnant women, older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.

The flu virus can spread to others up to six feet away, mainly by airborne droplets made when individuals with flu cough, sneeze or talk. A person may also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, nose, or mouth.

The flu usually occurs suddenly and can cause mild to severe illness and sometimes lead to death. Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

Contact your preferred healthcare provider or pharmacy to ask about flu vaccine availability.

For up-to-date information or to make an appointment, visit www.oakgov.com/health; follow the Health Division on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter @publichealthOC; or call the Health Division’s Flu Shot Hotline at 800-434-3358. Nurse on Call is also available to answer questions at 800-848-5533.

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY: Please contact Leigh-Anne Stafford, Health Officer, Oakland County Health Division, at 248-858-1410.