FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners and the Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD) are reminding County residents that flu season is here and it is important to protect yourself and your loved ones against the virus.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by the influenza virus that will infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs, which can be mild to severe. Experiencing severe symptoms can result in hospitalization and even death. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older, with rare exceptions.
“It is so important, now more than ever, to protect yourself from the flu, especially with COVID-19 still being a concern,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley, liaison to MCHD. “Be proactive and consult your primary care physician about receiving your flu shot now.”
Both the flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms that can range from asymptomatic to severe. Common symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Some may vomit or have diarrhea
Symptoms with the flu usually start immediately but COVID-19 symptoms occur more gradually. It is possible to be infected with both illnesses at the same time. Testing may be needed to confirm if you are sick with the flu or COVID-19.
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“It is especially important for those who are at high risk of developing serious flu complications to call their primary care physician to discuss receiving their flu vaccination,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Kiley. “Older adults, people with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are some examples of those who are at higher risk for flu complications.”
“The CDC has advised that it is safe to receive your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations together if you chose to do so,” added Commissioner Deputy Director Kiley.
To avoid catching any illness, it is important to take these important health measures:
- Wash hands thoroughly and often
- Use hand sanitizers
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean commonly touched surfaces
- Stay home when sick
For more information, call MCHD at 732-431-7456 or go to www.visitmonmouth.com.