This year, flu season got an early start compared to the same time last year. At Harris County Public Health (HCPH), we are seeing a higher number of students absent from school with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat). Texas and the rest of the country are also seeing more activity of flu this year. Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting the flu. It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop in your body after getting the flu vaccine. HCPH recommends for everyone 6 months of age and older to get their flu vaccine.
Simple steps to help keep you and/or your child from getting the flu, or passing it on to others:
- If you or your child gets sick, make sure to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. If taking medicine such as acetaminophen to control fever, you should wait until the fever is gone for 24 hours without using medicine before returning to school or work.
- Encourage sick family members to cover their nose and mouth when they cough and sneeze, using a tissue or inside bent arm. This helps keep germs from spreading to others.
- Encourage family members to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Keep sick family members away from other household members to reduce the exposure.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces touched frequently such as desks, doorknobs, computer keyboards, faucet handles, and phones.
Flu vaccine and COVID-19 updated booster availability can be found at vaccines.gov, texasflu.org or by contacting your healthcare provider. For additional flu vaccine sites, please see attached the HCPH mobile flu clinic schedule. For more information visit our website at www.hcphtx.org or call 832-927-7575.