“It’s important that people receive this year’s flu vaccine to combat this year’s strain,” she added.
It is also important for people to recognize flu symptoms and distinguish them from the common cold, she added.
“With the cold, you don’t get the fever that is associated with the flu,” she said. “Also, cold symptoms are not as severe as the flu.”
FLU MIST AVAILABLE
Besides fever, flu symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches and fatigue.
“If you believe you have the flu, you should contact your physician,” Keysor said. “If the doctor can confirm the flu, then it can be treated with antibiotics in its early stages.”
Lead-free flu vaccines are also available along with the flu mist, which is an option for people 49 and younger who do not want the traditional shot.
There are also higher-dose vaccines available for seniors who may be especially susceptible to serious complications from the flu.
Last year’s flu season was relatively mild across the region, but that does not mean area residents should take it lightly this year.
“The flu is so unpredictable,” said Laurie Williams of the Clinton County Health Department. “That’s why we are strongly encouraging people to get vaccinated.”
Email Jeff Meyers
email@example.comLEARN MORE For more information on influenza and local flu-vaccine clinics, contact your area health department or visit its website: Clinton County: 565-4848; www.clintoncountygov.com/departments/health/flu.html. Essex County: 873-3500; http://www.co.essex.ny.us/ EssexCountyPublicHealth. Franklin County: 481-1709 (Malone), 891-4471 (Saranac Lake); http://franklincony.org/content/Departments/View/2.