Payson is experiencing local outbreaks of influenza causing more people to seek care or call in ill to work and school. Several of the cases in Payson have been laboratory confirmed and are strains that were covered in this year’s seasonal flu vaccine.
Influenza viruses are spread by cough or sneeze droplets, and by contact with surfaces and then touching eyes, nose or mouth. Each year in the U.S. influenza complications cause more than 200,000 hospitalizations and more than 20,000 deaths, including children.
The influenza vaccine is the most effective way of preventing influenza illness. The vaccine cannot cause influenza illness. Most people experience no side effects from vaccination, some have minor soreness or aching at the injection site, rarely (less than 1 percent) have more serious side effects. Flu prevention measures in addition to vaccine include: cover your mouth when coughing, stay home if you are ill, wash your hands often, daily and more frequently, if needed, clean and disinfect environmental surfaces. If your fever persists or is not controlled by fever reducing medication, your symptoms worsen, or you have difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.
It is not too late to get a flu shot. Vaccine is still available at the county health department office in Payson. Call (928) 474-1210 to schedule an appointment.