Local health officials are urging Gorge residents to get the flu shot to stay healthy. The flu vaccine does not prevent COVID-19, but it is still a good idea, say health officials, because a healthy body has an easier time fighting off COVID-19. Call your primary care provider, pharmacy, or health department to arrange a vaccination.

The CDC states everyone six months and older should receive an annual influenza (flu) shot. It is especially important for those with chronic medical conditions, those who are pregnant, those caring for babies six months of age and younger, and those over the age of 65, stated Mike Matthews, supervisor at Hood River County Environmental Health.

People infected with the flu may pass it to others one day before they become sick. While vaccination is still the best way to avoid catching and spreading the flu, here are some ways you can help avoid spredding the flu:

• Cover your cough and sneeze.

• Wash your hands often, using soap and warm water.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  Limit close contact with those that are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick. Protect others at school and work by staying home at least 24-hours after a fever (100+ degrees) subsides.

• Clean surfaces. Flu germs can live for hours on hard surfaces. Make sure your home and workspace are wiped down frequently, especially where children are playing.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, headache, chills, fatigue, and sometimes nausea (more often in children than adults). Many respiratory viruses have similar symptoms, but influenza tends to be more severe.

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