Health department conducting second round of children's flu vaccines

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  In Florida and throughout the U.S., flu activity is on the rise. In Sumter County we are currently seeing an increase in flu activity.

“The flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent flu,”- Dr. Sanford Zelnick, Director Sumter County Health Department.

To better protect the residents of our county the Florida Department of Health in Sumter County (FDOH-Sumter), in partnership with the Sumter County School Board and Healthy Schools LLC, is hosting vaccination clinics in all Sumter County public schools and a number of local daycares.

Starting the week of February 12th all Sumter County public school children and many daycare attendees will be able to receive free flu vaccinations at their respective schools and daycares. The daycare vaccinations will be conducted in the FDOH-Sumter Mobile clinic. Parents can contact their child’s school or daycare directly for more information and to find out if the school or daycare is participating in this event.

The Department of Health in Sumter County recommends that all individuals six months of age and older receive the flu vaccination each year. It is especially important for pregnant women, those 65 years old and older, and those less than six years of age to be vaccinated due to the increased risk of complications associated with these populations. The flu vaccination is safe and will protect mothers, unborn children, and will also help protect babies during the first months after birth.

All Sumter residents are encouraged to discuss flu vaccination with their primary care provider. Those interested in finding a vaccination provider can use the Department’s flu shot locator: www.flhealth.gov/findaflushot If you become ill with flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as possible. Your health care provider can prescribe antiviral treatment if appropriate. Treatment is most effective when started within 48 hours. Please stay home from work and keep children home from school or daycare when sick to help prevent spreading the flu to others. It is also essential to practice good hand 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 prevent the flu by coughing or sneezing into a tissue, or you elbow and avoid touching your face.