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The Villages
Thursday, February 22, 2024

Sumter County health officials sound alarm over increase in flu

The Florida Department of Health in Sumter County has observed a rise in influenza activity within the county and is urging residents to take precautions against contracting and spreading the flu.

It is essential to practice good hygiene by properly and frequently washing your hands. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home, school, or office. You can take additional steps to avoid the flu by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and avoiding touching your face.

“Although flu vaccines can vary in effectiveness from season to season, they continue to be the best way to prevent influenza infection and serious influenza complications. It is not too late to get vaccinated this season,” said Dr. Sanford Zelnick, director of the Sumter County Health Department.

The flu vaccine is safe and recommended for everyone six months and older including pregnant women. For adults 65 and older, a high dose flu vaccine is recommended. Certain children, those between 6 months through 8 years of age, require two doses of influenza vaccine. If you have questions about influenza vaccine, please contact the Florida Department of Health in Sumter County or your medical provider.

If you become ill with flu-like symptoms (coughing, fever, sore throat), contact your health care provider as soon as possible. Your health care provider may be able to prescribe antiviral treatment if appropriate. Treatment is most effective when started within 48 hours. Those persons at a higher risk for complications include children younger than 5, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, and those with certain underlying medical conditions.

Residents are urged to stay home from work and keep children home from school or daycare when sick to help prevent spreading the flu to others.

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