Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by State Rep. Natalie Manley:
With Illinois and the nation facing a severe flu season and hospitals seeing an increase in the number of patients being treated for flu-like symptoms, State Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) is encouraging local residents to get vaccinated.
“Getting a flu shot only takes a few minutes, and can dramatically reduce your chances of getting sick,” Manley said. “By being proactive in our own health habits, we can help encourage those who do not normally get a flu shot, to do so.”
Illinois is one of 24 states that are now reporting higher than normal flu activity this season. The number of flu-related intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalizations so far this year is 368, with 27 flu-related ICU deaths. The majority of hospitalizations and deaths are of people in their 50s and older.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the strain of flu that is currently circulating in Illinois and the country has historically been a more severe strain causing more hospitalizations and deaths. Common symptoms of flu include sore throat, high fever, cough, body aches and fatigue. While these symptoms can be particularly harmful among children and the elderly, IDPH reassures that the majority of people suffering from the flu simply need to stay home, rest, use over-the-counter remedies as needed and let the flu run its course.
We are definitely experiencing a severe flu season,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “However, we have seen severe flu seasons before. IDPH and health care professionals around the state are doing everything in our power to raise awareness and reduce the number of people who become ill.”
To obtain a flu shot, visit www.idph.state.il.us and enter your zip code in the Flu Vaccine Finder. Although the flu vaccine is still widely available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting shortages at some doctors’ offices and pharmacies. Be sure to call ahead before going to get a vaccination.
For more information, please contact Rep. Manley by email at RepManley@gmail.com or visit her office at 2701 Black Road, Suite 201 in Joliet.
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