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By FDOH-Escambia

November 01, 2018

Your flu shot is the first and most important step to fight the flu.

Pensacola, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) reminds residents to protect themselves and their families from influenza (flu). Seasonal flu is      a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and can sometimes lead to death. The flu season in Escambia County, Florida usually begins in early October and lasts until May, peaking in January and February.

Every Vaccination Helps.

The flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complications. Everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women, should get the flu vaccine. Pregnancy’s effect on the immune system can cause a more severe infection leading to poor outcomes for both mother and baby. Additionally, the mother’s vaccine immunity can be passed on to her baby, helping to protect the child until they are old enough to receive their own vaccine. There are many different flu vaccine options this season. Local locations for receiving the flu vaccine can be found at

Getting a flu vaccine every year is important because flu viruses evolve quickly, and last year’s vaccine may not protect against the current year’s flu strain. It can take up to two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu. Even if the flu vaccine does not fully protect against the flu, it may reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications.

What To Do If You Think You Have Flu.

Persons experiencing flu symptoms or having questions regarding the flu and their health should contact their physician’s office. Persons who see a physician early may be prescribed antiviral medications, which could reduce the severity of symptoms or the length of the illness. Signs and symptoms of the flu may include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and fever. Some people may also experience diarrhea and vomiting.

Don’t Get It. Don’t Spread it.

Individuals can protect themselves and their families from the flu by practicing preventive behaviors. In addition to getting vaccinated every year, frequent hand washing is another important key to prevention. Other healthy behaviors such as avoiding close contact with those who are sick, getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, and eating nutritious food can also help to prevent getting the flu. Individuals can spread the flu to others before they even know they are sick. Avoid spreading the flu by covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow rather than the hand and by staying home when sick.

Learn More.

Visit for more information on how to be a part of #FluFreeFL. For more information about the flu, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at Additional information can also be found at FDOH-Escambia’s website,


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.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyEscambia and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit