DOH-Bay Monitors Flu Situation in Bay County, Recommends Precautions
January 31, 2018
PANAMA CITY,Fla.— In Florida and throughout the U.S., flu activity is on the rise. In Bay County, we are currently seeing an increase in flu activity.
“Our epidemiology team is very busy monitoring reports of cases, checking to see that flu vaccines and antiviral medication supplies are ready to meet the needs of residents, and investigating reported outbreaks in defined settings such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, and child care sites,” said Douglas Kent, MPH, DOH-Bay Administrator.
There has been one outbreak reported in a long-term care facility in Bay County. Per CDC guidelines, person who were ill and who were in contact with those who were sick, were treated with anti-viral medications.
DOH-Bay has sent letters on influenza to schools, child care facilities, OB-GYN offices, hospitals, and other partners. We will continue to share information and communicate with media, community, and our partners to keep our county as well as possible.
DOH-Bay is urging residents to get your flu vaccine now if you have not already. There are still weeks of flu activity to come. It is not too late to get your flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is safe, and recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women.
Flu vaccines can vary in effectiveness from season to season, but they continue to be the best way to prevent influenza infection and serious influenza complications. To locate a flu shot near you, contact your health care provider or use DOH’s flu shot locator: www.flhealth.gov/findaflushot
DOH-Bay still has flu vaccines available for children. There is no fee for these shots through the child vaccine program. We also have the high-dose adult shot as well. There is a fee for this service. No appointment is necessary. Hours are 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. Please check-in by 4 pm.
If you become ill with flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as possible. Your health care provider can prescribe antiviral treatment if appropriate. Treatment is most effective when started within 48 hours, so calling as soon as you become ill is important, especially if you or your loved one is at a higher risk for complications: children younger than 5, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, and those with underlying medical conditions.
Stay home from work and keep children home from school or daycare when sick to help prevent spreading the flu to others. You should be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. It is also essential to practice good hygiene by properly and frequently washing your hands. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home, school or office. You can take additional steps to ward off the flu by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and avoiding touching your face.
Visit FluFreeFlorida.com for more information on how you can be a part of #FluFreeFlorida. Visit www.floridahealth.gov/floridaflu for more information on influenza and influenza-like illness in Florida.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.