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The regular flu vaccine as well as the high dose flu vaccine is now available at Southeastern Idaho Public Health. To schedule your immunization appointment, contact the Bear Lake County Office at 208.847.3000 or visit siphidaho.org for more information.

Influenza (the flu) is a serious contagious disease that attacks the respiratory tract in humans. The flu is different from a cold in that it comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, and body aches. Most people recover from influenza on their own. However, for some people influenza can be extremely serious, resulting in hospitalization and sometimes even death.

According to the CDC, the 2020-21 influenza season will coincide with the continued or recurrent circulation of SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus or COVID-19). Individuals 6 months and older should get a flu shot to reduce prevalence of illness caused by influenza and reduce symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19. Prevention of and reduction in the severity of influenza illness through influenza vaccination could also alleviate stress on the U.S. health care system.

To reduce your risk of contracting the flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends doing the following:

1) Get your flu vaccination.

It is the single best way to prevent the flu. Remember, even if you got a flu shot last year, you will still need the flu shot this year to be protected this flu season. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. It is especially critical for some groups:

1. older people over age 65

2. young children, under age 2

3. people with chronic lung disease (such as asthma and COPD), diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurologic conditions, and certain other long-term health conditions

4. pregnant women

5. health care workers

2) Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.

3) Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

4) Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

5) Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

6) Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

7) Practice other good health habits.

Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.

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