San Mateo County health officials said Thursday the 2012-2013 flu season appears to be an "active" flu season nationwide.
While it's hard to predict any flu season, flu activity is on the rise in California and the San Mateo County Health System is encouraging residents 6 months and older to get vaccinated if they haven't already.
The flu vaccine is still widely available in San Mateo County, and residents are encouraged to:
- Call their doctor or healthcare provider
- Visit a pharmacy or supermarket
- Visit the Health System’s website http://smchealth.org/flu for information on County and community organizations offering flu vaccine
- Find out about special retail stores offering flu vaccine, such as www.ShooTheFlu.org offering free vaccine for children ages 4 through 18 through Jan. 31.
“Flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself, your family, and your community,” San Mateo County’s Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow said in a statement.
“The flu vaccine is a very good match for this year’s strains of influenza, and it’s recommended that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated as early as possible since it takes an average of two weeks for people to develop immunity once they get vaccinated,” he said.
Flu activity usually peaks in February, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recent reports, widespread flu activity started in early January in many states.
According to national and state officials, 18 children have died, and hospitalizations continue to increase due to flu-related complications.
To date, there have been no reported deaths, hospitalizations, or outbreaks in San Mateo County due to flu-related complications.