The Flu Is Here, Pasadena

Published : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 | 6:00 AM

Pasadena residents should get their flu shots while early, as flu activity is rapidly increasing throughout Los Angeles County, the County’s Department of Public Health said late last week.

“Continue spreading holiday cheer and not the flu,” Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Interim Health Officer for Los Angeles County, said. “Flu activity usually peaks in January and February, but this season we are seeing flu activity earlier than usual so getting vaccinated now is important. Getting vaccinated against flu protects both the person who receives the vaccine and also reduces the chance they will become ill and spread the flu to family and friends.”

The county health department said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta has reported a significant increase in influenza activity in recent weeks throughout California.

“Flu can cause hospitalization and death. Receiving the flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself and others from getting the flu,” the advisory said.

The Department added everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu every year.

Flu vaccination is especially important for people who are at greater risk for complications from flu and those who live with or care for these individuals, according to the advisory. Groups of people that are at high risk for flu complications include children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and pregnant women.

Medical conditions such as asthma, chronic lung or heart disease, diabetes and being overweight – those with a BMI (body-mass index) of over 40 – can also increase your risk for flu complications, the advisory said.

The Department says people who are at higher risk for complications from the flu should seek medical care as soon as they begin to feel ill, whether or not they have been vaccinated.

To prevent the spread of the flu, people are advised to practice good hygiene, aside from being vaccinated. This includes washing your hands, covering your coughs and sneezes, not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, and staying home if you’re sick.

Persons infected with the flu virus may exhibit symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

Pneumonia is the most common complication of the flu. Flu can also aggravate underlying health conditions like heart disease or asthma. Annually, thousands of people nationwide are hospitalized or die from influenza- associated illness, the Department of Public Health said.

For more information about the flu including vaccination locations, visit the Public Health website at County residents may also call the LA County Information Line at 211.?