According to the latest weekly flu report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the rates of influenza-like illnesses have risen over the past seven days. In the Northeast, flu season typically peaks in January and February and lasts through March, but the Ipswich Public Health Department reminds residents that it is not too late to get vaccinated.
Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny
or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Any number of these
symptoms may be present and residents are advised to call their doctor for
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older as the best
way to prevent flu illness and serious flu complications, including
hospitalization. Residents should also follow these tips to avoid getting
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.
Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
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.
Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
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.
Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Residents who wish to receive a flu vaccine should contact their local pharmacy or healthcare provider for more information or to schedule an appointment. Any medical questions regarding the vaccine should be directed to your private physician.